I’m sure this applies to secular as well as worship, but I wonder if it affects one genre more than the other. Probably secular cover bands, but anyone who plays in both could say. I have always struggled with copping someone else’s solos exactly. I say struggled because I know that the skill of transposition is important. Back in the ‘70s, I did a lot of damage to 33 1/3 LPs playing along (with a 65 Champ- go figure) and picking up the stylus and doing it again. So many hours wearing out Dead, Allman Bros, Clapton, Hot Tuna, Albert King, the Outlaws and other vinyl. Jorma Kaukenen and his mentor Rev Gary Davis, and Mark Knopfler taught me I don’t need picks. i don’t think I ever nailed a specific solo note for note, but I learned to solo based on the melody, and capture the feel. And along the way, my own style developed. Two compliments that have stuck with me were “you sound like Jerry Garcia”, and while playing Norman Blake and Doc Watson songs around a campfire, a girl said “you sound so...country”. Never was entirely sure they were meant as 100% complimentary- lol, but it was what I needed to hear to encourage me. So, when leading worship, it’s not so much about a performance, or entertainment. I find the people have less need to hear me nail the solo just like the cd, but those who like to sing along need familiarity in melody, timing and arrangement. Besides my own church, I participate in a worship band. Quite liberating to not be the leader, just the lead guitarist/singer. This Saturday, we’ll be doing some of the leader’s originals, and she gave a cd she recorded with a fancy Dan Nashville guitarist and asked if I can play the intro solo like he did. I think I can, but it’s still going to sound like me. I see a huge divide between players in smaller churches, and those who play in mega churches. We tend to use amps more and have smaller boards. Big church players seem more likely to be pushed into no amps on stage (prayers sent). And their pedal boards! Reading other worship boards, it sounds like they spend a ton of energy downloading and scrolling through patches to sound just Hillsong or whoever. So is it just my imagination, or do big churches expect their musicians to sound like the cd? Or is that self-imposed? Another thought, which may be another, albeit related question, playing direct seems to require an awful lot of trust in the guy pushing your faders. With my my volunteer soundman, I set my guitar (if playing acoustic) and mic faders and eq on the board so the only thing he has to fiddle with is the mute button. He is getting better at it too! Too many times I have attended a big church in which all you can hear is the keys, vocals, and maybe the acoustic strummer. He probably sounds great in his IEM, but is the lead guitarist aware that Bruno On The Board has his solo inaudible through the board? I know- TLDR, but I am so glad to have these outlets for my music! Life is good.