I recently started playing with a guitarist who I have jammed with in the past. I started writing songs with the intention of being in a drum/bass duo. It's high-energy loud noisy punk-ish rock stuff. I've been using a lot of fuzz and playing really driving baselines. Its a little complex at times, mostly rhythmically, but not math rock or anything. Anyways, when he mentioned he would be interested in playing, I went back and simplified the songs a bit, changing more of the guitar like parts into more bassy riffs, both to give him more room sonically, and so I could sing over it a little easier. The only problem is that his guitar parts don't really shine overall. He's a good player, and he has written some stuff in these songs that really impressed me. He gets where I'm coming from musically and is really positive and open minded. His guitar playing seems to lack confidence and it seems like he intentionally turns down lower than me so that sometimes I can barely hear him, and I'm not playing crazy loud. I don't know what to do. I've hit a creative spurt, and I've had at least one new song/idea every time we've gotten together. Am I overwhelming him? He brought a song to the table and I really dug it, and ended up writing to it, but we have the same problem. As soon as I start playing, he backs off. This music needs confidence! Attitude! How do I inspire him? Is it me? This is also the first time I've taken the band leader role and I worry that I'm doing it wrong. He suggested bringing in a keyboard player and while I didn't immediately shoot it down, he could tell I wasn't 100% about it. I have played with the guy before and it was one of the worst musical experiences of my life. Anyways, maybe I'm just having trouble adjusting to being the lead guy. I dunno. Anyone ever been in this situation? I see people talking all the time about guitarists being too loud or cocky, so its weird to have the opposite problem.