So, improvisation has fascinated me for years and years. I can do it to the point I make OK note choices, and understand how to fit the harmony. I know there is A LOT more to it than that, but I have been germinating on improvisation at a higher level than this. Not a necessarily higher SKILL level, but at a higher CONCEPTUAL level for guiding me in developing a solo using the vocabulary I've developed, or that comes to me spontaneously on stage. So, there are two conceptual approaches to improvisation on which I have stumbled. One is the narrative approach. This gets mentioned a lot -- that improvising a solo is like telling a story. I get it -- notes are like words, phrases are like sentences, and phrases combine to make paragraphs that "tell a story". The other approach is that you are simply trying to create emotion and drama. The former definition -- the narrative definition -- never resonated with me. The idea of vocabulary makes sense, so the analogy between writing English and performing a solo makes sense. But the meaning of the story -- that will vary from person to person. Because there are truly no words, the idea of story never made any sense to me beyond the linguistic analogy, not the meaning side. There is even a logical component to it -- you can hear solos which seem incredibly logical with the way phrases relate to each other, or seem to be a premise for a conclusion (resolution), but the actual meaning -- there isn't one in terms of English. I think the fact that Pat Metheny, and improvisational guru named an entire album " Secret Story" is case in point -- no one really knows what the story means as notes do not translate into words. The other approach -- trying to create drama means a lot more to me -- as the idea of tension and release, repetition, transposition, space -- all these things create a dramatic effect that makes a lot of sense. I think music, having no words, can evoke emotion, just as sounds can, so the dramatic approach makes seems to be a more useful, conceptual approach to composing a solo. Are there other conceptual approaches to improvisation of which you are aware? Which seems to make the most sense to you in guiding you when you are improvising a solo?