When I learned guitar at age 40, I started with classical for a year or so before I moved into jazz and blues. I had to learn to read music and "hear it in my head" as well. The big difference was that it didn't matter that I had a Les Paul Standard and a Stratocaster Ultra Deluxe, I needed to practice. Bottom line is that I now appreciate my gear more than ever because I know what it can do. It doesn't matter the make or how much $ or €, bad is bad but can be improved upon with practice, while good is good or great depending on the gear - whatever the gear.