Originally Posted by Mathieu Fiset
....But I would say...your ears are the best for improvisations...theory is only a guideline !
About ear training. When you start paying attention to what the note you are targeting (1st, Major or minor 3rd, 5th, Major or minor 7th, etc) in relation to the chord you are playing, I believe your mind, ear, and hands make a connection to the music in a much more coherent, organized, systematic way instead of just running randomly up and down the scale.
Example: If your mind knows you are playing a Major 3rd, and your finger is physically holding down a Major 3rd, and then your ear hears the Major 3rd tonality all at the same time, your entire musical being is making a connection of the mental, physical, and aural process of making music.
If you don't know it is a Major 3rd, and your eyes don't really pay attention to the fact you are actually playing a Major 3rd, then your ears don't won't as easily distinguish the Major 3rd tonality from all other tonalities.
This is a theory of mine (I am sure many others have had the same concept). I am actually in the process of writing a guitar instructional book that will really explore this process in great detail.