I think we'd have to define some terms to make it clear what we are comparing here, but I think I understand what you are saying. I do know scale patterns. But, beyond the basic scale formula for an octave, I don't have those patterns in muscle memory the way some guitarists do, because I don't play that way, and I can't, right now, sight read for individual notes, but I can improvise.Jason Hensley wrote: ↑Mon May 01, 2017 9:24 amYed but you use that in contrast to scale patterns meaning your doing a ton more work because rather than memorizing just on shape your memorizing every interval and have to make sure its in key versus one shape in one key meaning approx. 1 shape 1 pattern versus 12 intervals 12 patterns one for third etc... it is far more useful in chords and arpeggios but useless when it come t =o improvising one or two notes individually in scale otherwise it will make no senseSunnyDee wrote: ↑Mon May 01, 2017 2:15 am
I do see, for myself, that since I've learned the fretboard, my improvisation/composition is far freer and much more melodically interesting, but that makes sense because it was my goal for learning the fretboard. I learned it not as a sight reader would (which I can't do), but by intervals, so that I could start on any note and move any interval staying in key in any key. The knowledge of the fretboard was the last bit of information that I needed to connect what I knew about theory to the fretboard. It still takes practice, but I feel like, in this sense, anyway, it was technique (or information at least) that I needed.
You say, "memorizing just on shape your memorizing every interval and have to make sure its in key versus one shape in one key" Knowing the intervals in a scale means if you play those intervals from the root, you're automatically in key. But, as I see it, if you learn one finger shape in one key, then you can only play that one scale in that one key. Which is my point, really.
I look at knowing how to make intervals on the guitar as basic to improvisation of melody. When we are improvising/composing a melody, I believe we are generally thinking in intervals, certainly I am. The same knowledge also lets me create and modify chords on the fly which, I would think, is the same skill required for changing one or two notes in scale. I do this all the time when playing fingerstyle patterns. I think understanding the relationships between notes is key to creating music.
I think of it rather like Legos. I would buy a bunch of different basic bricks (intervals) so I could build anything I want (any scale in any key). Other people would buy sets with special pieces to build one thing, follow the instructions, build that one thing, and keep it like a model.
In short, if any one thing, besides creativity, would be necessary for improvisation, I'd say it's a full understanding of how elements of music fit together, either because you have a well-developed ear and thorough history of analytical listening or a knowledge of theory or both, then you have to know how to build those elements on your particular instrument, but to build something new, I'd certainly think you need to get at the elements.