I've been having to learn a lot of songs for another cover band I've joined. The past month I'm using a strat, not plugging onto anything. I listen to the recording/Youtube with light headphones with just one ear covered so I can hear the guitar...and I'm playing. I'm learning the leads that way too. I'm doing it this way recently just because of the simple, quick setup, and I'm mostly sitting at the kitchen table at night ...working. For this work I need to know how to play these tunes and any extra volume, effects, distortion isn't needed. This process is actually forcing me to play the songs better because I'm playing clean...super clean...raw clean. I'm finding that when I plug in with the the band at rehearsal it's all good.