Check out the banjo lick challenge responses…That is improvising…putting licks (or new licks) in new places
Anything new you add to a piece is basically improvisation.
The “bag o licks” lessons are meant to provide tools for you to use to improvise…when you learn a lick, you can experiment with putting it in any place you think it might fit…this is improvising.
Improvisation is simply not playing a piece the way you learned it note for note.
#1… You learn both the basic and advanced versions of a Ben Clark lesson.
The entire advanced lesson is too difficult to play at a certain speed you want to go but you want to play a couple of really cool licks from it that you can pull off
Answer" you add in those cool advanced licks into the beginner solo that you can play easily…you have just improvised your own break.
Example 2: you’re playing a song and you throw in a favorite lick for the D chord instead of the one you learned from a tab…you just improvised.
Example 3 You forget that the takeoff starts on the 4th string and goes 2nd, 2nd, 1st, open on the frets…instead you play second string O, 1, 2, 3 then continue with the piece…you just improvised and still kept the D note as the first note…
The number of possible substitutions is as endless.as the imagination.
The more licks you can memorise and find uses for, the easier it all becomes to do on the fly.
To be honest, having played several instruments over many years, I find it far more difficult to play a piece (like a lesson here) completely as written without throwing something of my own into it while playing. Having my own “go to” licks makes me want to insert them when I come to a part where I know they might fit.
Here is an exercise: Choose a favorite lick you’re learning. go through your list of songs you play and look for anyplace you might be able to insert it in place of the lick that’s already there. (same thing as Ben’s challenge, but with your own lick you chose). My bandmates and I used to kid each other about doing this all the time…“think we’ve heard you’re lick-of-the-day enough”…