I've been playing for over 20 years, but I think I was only improving for about the first 5 of those. I just never seemed to put myself through the work. How silly.
I've been off work for a few months and I decided to try and see if I could get somewhere. Slash is a childhood hero of mine, and so I decided to see if I could get Sweet Child down. I know that's probably considered one of his easier songs but for me it seemed pretty insurmountable.
There are a few mistakes, annoyingly - whenever I was recording myself I just seemed to get nervous which affected my playing. And sorry about the sound quality, I was recording my amp with the iPhone voice memo app!
The tone's not that close I know - hardly surprising when you consider Slash's rig vs. mine. Mine is an LP Trad with the 57 Classics, into a Line6 M13 emulating a CryBaby into a RAT, with a little reverb, and then into an Orange Tiny Terror and a 1x12 cab.
I've got the Slash pickups on the way, but I'm not going to be chasing the tone any further than that.
Anyway, I'm really happy that I managed to make a genuine improvement in my playing. It's given me a whole new drive, and also made me much less concerned with the acquisition of gear, and more concerned with just playing.