I have some thoughts on finding the right guitar tone or sound for the right time. Most of this will apply to my experience in a live performance context, but opinions about recording are welcome too. Sometimes there is too much of a good thing, especially guitar-wise. When I first started playing with bands I wanted the biggest and fattest guitar sound to take up as much sonic space as I could. I'd work and work at home to make this huge guitar tone, only to get to the performance and walk away feeling like there was something unbalanced about things. I started to think. Was my "huge" guitar tone getting in the way of everything and everyone else else? I did some careful listening both to I considered live great bands and great guitar and found that in almost every case the guitar player was very complementary. What I mean is that he/she picked the right tone at the right time, even if it meant a somewhat "less huge" tone at times. I then decided to try it myself. I made a conscious effort to play more conservatively with sound and it paid off big time! My bands suddenly seemed to magically sound better. Everything balanced well. Sometimes you need to give a little bit in order to make a performance really work. Anyone have any thoughts?