The quest for great sound. 

Electric guitarist and bass players spend a great deal of time refining their individual effects and amp sounds. Some might plug straight into an amp or PA system, set the controls to 11 and their good to go. Others (myself included) regard our sound as a very important part of our musical expression. Your individual voice. If your sound is unclear, too much of this or that, no matter what you play, there's a good chance you'll sound crappy. Indeed, you can kill the buzz on great licks and phrasing because of a bad or improperly setup rig. "Buzz" in your amp, monitors, or mains is another post all its own and will wear on your musical mojo as the gig goes on.

Years ago when studying with guitarist Scott Henderson, I got a chance to see his rig first hand. He gave up all the scoops about his tone from the guitar to the speakers and everything in between. It was overwhelming to know that everything affected tone to a certain degree. When I saw him in LA a few years ago, his rig had changed, but his sound was just as superb as on his blues records. Other guitarists who get great guitar tones are Joe Perry, Carl Verheyen, and Eric Johnson to name a few. They can play with single coil, hum bucker, or even acoustic guitars and it still sounds appealing. 

Check these players for their specific set ups. Gravitate to the ones that appeal to you. A good sounding instrument helps to convey your music message.

The melody is alright. 

 Here is a cool idea I got from L.A. based jazz guitarist Sid Jacobs.  A student of his at the time, he told me of this conversation that he had with guitar great, Joe Diorio. The story goes that there was this guy that actually played some of the melody lines in his improvisation. This is a novel idea for jazz musicians that improvise for days on end.....The moral of the story was that, it's ok to quote some of the beautiful melodies in the songs that we solo on. The listener can grab on to that familiar line or phrase, even though it's a lot of times surrounded by 16th note bliss. Try it out. Sometimes, the melody is all right....