Big John's Guitars
#1 on the list is... you're torturing yourself trying to learn to play anything on a guitar not properly set up. Too much effort is exerted simply holding down the strings
#2 Is tuning... in the "please read" section we talk about how out of tune a guitar can be because it's not properly set up.
#3 TONE...Ever here the term "got a bur under your saddle?"
Well your guitar might! The surface where the strings contact the bridge saddle and the nut often become deformed. Burs or sloppy fitting nut slots cause buzzing and tuning problems in a big way. Your instrument can not produce a clear strong sound or good tone in this case. GET IT LOOKED AT!
The 1st PHASE or action you can take is get your instrument set up.
The 3rd phase of your pursuit of better tone will be modifications.
This often gets bumped to the front of the list due to high pressure marketing and the lack of knowledge. "These pickups will fix my tuning problem." or "You need new tuners dude."
In reality, the poor guitar was never constructed right in the first place.
Please read the "big fan of big john" comment on the first page. This individual is well versed in how inadequate guitar manufacturing can be.