I have played guitar for a long time (since late 70s) but as the years went by found myself playing less and less where it got to the point if I was lucky if I played for an hour a month. Last May I decided to stop being a bitch of a scrub and get back into playing a bit.
I actually spent money and bought some new gear. I spent a good bit of money actually - New head, new cab, new pedalboard and power supply, bunch of pedals. I jumped back in with both feet and no parachute.
After getting all of my new stuff, setting everything up and having at it something became clear almost immediately: I got really terrible at playing guitar.
Things that were once easily played were now difficult and barely playable.
My Legato went to shit.
My picking went to shit.
Phrasing - shit ...
yadda yadda yadda.
I kept digging away at it...
I worked on my guitar setup a bit. I still struggled but that helped a great deal.
I never noticed how incredibly bright my RG 550 was before. It almost reminded me of single coils and even the Neck Blaze sounded bright. This was a bit off-putting but I kept at it. I also started playing my 7 more and more.
I continued digging away and began wondering if the Orange Amp was a wrong call. It sounds so amazing for chugging/ rhythm but I could not get a lead tone that I was happy with.
I did a ton of research on boosts and bought a TS clone and it helped a lot.
Kept going after it but second-guessing everything along the way.
Is the TS clone really helping all that much?? Do I need a different boost? Different Pickups? Should I just buy a 5150? Do I need a different guitar?
I decided no more cash would be spent - I was going to make what I have work.
I dug in deeper.
The Orange is very open and lacks a lot of compression and this leads to notes not sustaining quite as long as I was used to. This forced me to actually play cleanly. Bitch picking would not cut it at all. Playing was a struggle. This was making me work for every note. Even with the variable wattage output / headroom/bedroom switch I struggled with getting decent tone at low volume. I was becoming a bit frustrated.
I worked on my setup a bit more and kept plugging away at it. Tuned my seven down to D, I tuned my 550 down to D. I tuned my hard tail to C.
Some days were better than others. Some days things were almost passable but mostly I thought everything just sounded like complete ass and I cannot play worth a shit any more.
I kept at it.
I spent 6 months, gradually increasing the amount of time spent playing, constantly fiddling with settings on everything and guitar setups and then finally, one day...
Shit just magically clicked into place and BAM the glorious tone had returned.
I can play my seven better than ever now. Before, even though I played it quite a bit it just never clicked as well as a 6. It seemed like the low B was oftentimes just in the way. Now I don't notice it at all. It just works.
I have more than enough sustain. Even with the volume backed off and the TS turned off I have enough sustain. You have to work for it a bit but it is there.
For the first time the volume control actually does amazing things. Back off the volume and it cleans it so nicely. On my Line 6 and ADA backing off the volume just decreased volume - it didn't clean anything up. Even on my Laney AOR it didn't clean up.
So what is next?
Going to keep working on improving as a player and try to learn a bit about recording and mastering. I have some ideas I would like to try and record at some point. Who knows I may even learn how to sweep pick
No real point to this ramble just wanted to share...