Dan's questions are great.
The bottom line depends a lot on the situation.
Do the players "know" what they are looking for? In other words, do they have experience in a studio/recording environment. If so, like Sherwood said, you should listen to what they want.
The classes I took on recording were great.
We'd take a instrument like drums, and the teacher would show us a couple of well known mic set ups (and mic choices for each position) and talk about where each mic type might be placed. Then we would listen to what that sounds like, move each mic around, then swi