When I’m soloing I tend to “forget” what I’ve learned. Haha. But I guess that’s where the muscle memory from your practice kicks in. In a sense, I always go for what I hear rather than what I see or memorized.
Primarily, I visualize the fretboard in intervals rather than full scales. From what I notice, when I see the intervals I somewhat can hear or “pre-hear” what it will sound like. But just a note, I’m slow in this that’s why I asked in one of the topics I created on how I can easily visualize full scales. So my thought process is, when I wanted to be more melodic, extend or superimpose a chord I visualize via intervals but when I want to play fast I’ll visualize via full scales.
In regards to the soloing/improvising, if the progression is diatonic and possibly blues or rock in genre, then I’ll go for 7 positions but starting and/or ending my note in one of the triads of the next chord. For example we have a G-C-D progression in G major. I’ll use G Ionian 7 positions for the whole progression but everytime we switch chord I’ll hit the root or the third or the fifth. If the genre is jazz, fusion or I somewhat wanted to have more of a different sound or personalized touch for each chord then I’ll think about every chord or follow the progression and possibly change scales as I go along. For example, we have G-C-D, maybe on G I’ll start on a triad and continuously hit the major second to have a Gadd9 sound, then when C comes in I’ll play a C triad then add a flat 7 to have a Mixolydian sound, then when D comes in I’ll play Mixolydian scale too. The overall vibe I’m giving for the whole progression is somewhat blues or jazz blues.
Again, it always depends on the players goal or the sounds you hear in your head. Following the progression and/or not following the progression is just a thought process on how you’ll get ths sound you like. From what I noticed, this is generalization and not necessarily true, but for rock and blues they tend to go by positions while jazz and fusion players tend to think by following the progression.
Apologies if this is confusing.