Here's the skinny: The core of our band (me, drummer, singer/rhythm guitarist) have been playing together off and on for around five years. We mesh, like the same tunes, get along, etc. For a variety of reasons, the lead guitarist is the "rotating spot" in our situation ---- we're on about our fourth one right now. The current guy (let's call him "Billy") seems to concentrate far too much on his soloing and not nearly enough on his rhythm playing. (I know, you're all in shock right now. Recovered yet? ) But the larger problem is that it literally takes him weeks and weeks to learn a song. We reformed this band back in January. We started with a nucleus of songs that our old band performed, so "Billy" had a relatively steep learning curve at first. To make it easier on him, we also learned several songs that he already knew, then we began learning songs that were new to all of us. Now here it is, five months later. We've got less than 40 songs on our setlist, and he's still struggling with almost everything on it. ("Wait, what key are you playing that in?", "Show me that riff one more time", "Don't give up on me, I'll get it eventually", etc., etc.) To be honest, most of these songs are classic rock songs from the 70s that "Billy" has heard a million times, so it's not like we're expecting him to learn Steve Morse tunes or anything like that. The singer has developed into quite a good guitarist, but he can't sing and play complex parts at the same time. Whenever a complex riff or run appears while the singer is singing, the song just falls apart because "Billy" doesn't know his part. We've tried being patient, but obviously that's gotten us nowhere (<40 songs in five months). We've tried to encourage him, to boost his confidence, etc. I've even had him come over to my house for dinner, and we practiced one-on-one for two hours. He's now forgotten everything I showed him. The lack of effort on his part is incredibly frustrating. We've all got lives too, and our time and money is every bit as important as his. If we've got time to practice on our own, then so should he. We all like the guy --- he's a nice fellow and a decent person. Not only that, but he owns the PA system and the practice space we're using. We've been telling him that we're not ready to give up on him, but that we want to see that he's expending a little more effort to try and catch up with the rest of us. The next step would probably be to bring in a third guitarist strictly for rhythm work. That would allow "Billy" to continue to be a participating member of the band and enjoy his moments in the spotlight as the "lead guitar player", and still thicken our sound with added rhythm chunk. Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? As the bassist, is there anything I can do during those thin sections of a songs when the singer can't play the rhythm part and "Billy" doesn't know his part?