I'm an intermediate player at best but am loving learning and playing. Low gain clean tones are my default favorite but use higher gain/distortion occasionally simply for a change. I read forums where guys speak about clean tones forcing themselves to play better with less slop.....their comments being that more gain/distortion masks sloppier play. My experience seems the opposite. Using higher gain/distortion, maybe I can get away with a chord not fretted perfectly but any tiny mistake during a melodic run (solo) sticks out like a sore thumb. So which tone do you consider more forgiving....low gain clean or higher distortion?