I'm in the process of putting together a new top-40 type group with an excellent female singer, and I have been hunting for players for about a week now (you all know how frustrating that can be). As usual, there weren't many potentially viable candidates at the start, but now I'm looking at a couple potential guitarists and keys players...one of the keyboard players is someone I've worked with in the past, and he is quite good... One of the guitarists sounds like absolute perfection (we have yet to hold actual auditions). I originally envisioned having my preferred three-piece rhythm section of bass/guitar(or keys)/drums, and the vocalist, but now I'm starting to second guess myself. I will admit that the preference for a three-piece is born out of selfishness (to some extent) in that it allows me to open up and fill more sonic space (more notes!). It's also typically easier to mix (Don't you love being Bass player/Sound Tech/Band Leader at the same time?), and to my ear, can sound 'cleaner' and 'tighter' in some cases. I also enjoy the challenge of adapting certain pop-tunes to a smaller ensemble and the creativity that comes along with it. Now, assuming I end up with a perfect guitarist and keyboard player after the auditions, what would you do? I understand that having both can give more depth and texture to the performance, but also comes with more clutter and hassle...along with denying myself that elusive pleasure of playing in a three-piece rhythm section... I know this is highly subjective, and that there is no 'correct' answer; I'm just curious about the opinions of others. Three or four? Whatcha think?