Not too sure... certainly teaching someone how to walk lines improves their walking ability - not so much playing using guide tones. IMO, walking teaches you mostly about root motion, arpeggiation, a little bit about chord qualities, and the importance of the 3rd. Guide tones on the other hand can be done with any chord tone - so long as they're being strung together in a logical manner, and the concentration is on generating a melody - not so much about outlining harmony. Your sax friend is probably touching more on the aspect of learning the harmony of a tune.
OTOH, learning how to create chord melodies on piano or guitar is an exercise where 90% of the time, you're using guide tones. I think that's far more effective as a learning tool for improvisation. Walking certainly can become the first stepping stone, but I think you can to get off of it once you get the idea of soloing in a way where chord tones are used as target notes to resolve a phrase.
As an advanced topic, I was watching a vid (I think it was Jean Michel Pilc) where it's important for all musicians to understand and hear all of the instrumentation when transcribing a part. Basically he was saying that if you just hearing and write out just the lead voice, you're also ignoring the setting in which those lead lines are created and how it interacts with the other voices in a band. Transcribing the rest of the band gives you more information and perspective in a holistic way. Food for thought.
So if you transcribe the soloist, you should also take a look at the bassist, drummer, and comper. Pretty deep.
====== Huy Nguyen =====
Playing the bass is either easy or impossible. -Michael Klinghoffer
Last edited by hdiddy : 03-19-2013 at 11:02 AM.