Improvisation for guitar is a fairly well-covered topic, with good resources to be found within multiple contexts (Web, traditional literature, etc).
However, most of what I've read is basically designed to "arm" your playing with resources, so that you have something to base on while improvising.
Still, I don't feel like I "get" improvising. I consider my overall creativity for composing fairly good, but with improvisation I can't really express myself like I wanted to.
So - for those of you analytic enough to have ever thought about it - how do you mentally approach improvising? Here's a few more specific "trigger" questions that - I hope - will clarify what I want to know more about:
- Do you think in terms of "musical phrases"?
- How long are they?
- How "complete" are they when you start them (sometimes I only know the start and end note)?
- Do you make them up "along the way" or "outline them in your head" a few moments before starting?
- Do you have explicit strategies to "keep track" of "where you are" in the rythm section (in order to "not get lost")?
PS: as far as open-ended questions go, I hope this one is still insightful enough to be helpful for those wanting to improve (or kick-start) their improvisation chops?