We, as believers in the true spirit of art through the creative medium of guitar, do put forth the following Commandments, and, in the interest of our musical comrades, light a beacon in hope that they will humbly remember the golden rule of guitar: Play what you love, and love what you play.
1. The best tone is the one that is right for YOU.
2. Thou shall remember that your hands and ears don't give a damn about what's written on the headstock.
3. Thou shall remember that time will makes fools of all of us. Please consult the Amendments for further guidance.
4. Thou shalt not use the word "best" in relation to tone, save for in the expression "best for me", as seen in Commandment 1.
5. Thou shalt know that it is the sound coming out of your amp, and not the pedals going in, that matters in the end.
6. More time shall NOT be spent on the online stores of Musicians Friend, Zzounds, Sam Ash, Guitar Center, OR on Ultimate-Guitar Forums than is spent in the practicing and enjoying of one's instrument.
7. Thou shalt honor the future, and the cost-effectiveness, of digital modeling.
8. Thou shalt NOT dismiss the ability of other players based on the cost of their rig, or the perceived lack of "prestige" imparted by any given piece of their gear.
9. Thou shalt buy a half stack if thou so chooses, but ONLY after thou has weight the "awesome factor" against the cost of both the stack and the muscle relaxers that will be demanded by your broken back.
10. Thou shall not seek the exact gear of your guitar idols, because thou hast not $12,000 to spend on a rig.
Amendment 1: Many immortal tones, including those of Jimi Hendrix (and Clapton's "Woman Tone"), were widely considered poor at their inception.
Amendment 2: Pablo Picasso died poor and unsuccessful; now, based on auction sales, his art has become more valuable than any other in the history of mankind.