Thanks very much for the reply.
I am very interested in the thought process of master musicians. It has been my experience that some musicians do everything by ear (like David Grier or Wes Montgomery). These folks “hear” what they want to play, either from their library of memorized licks, or from the movement of the notes beneath their fingers. They can hear where the line is moving to and know interesting ways to get there. David Grier seems to be exceptionally good at this:
David claims to not have a clue about the difference between a root note and a blue note (I have no reason to doubt his word) which makes listening to him all that much more astounding.
Some musicians tend toward strict music theory and note reading and musical techniques to perform as they do. Here is Pat Martino explaining some of his thought processes when soloing over an A7#5 (altered dominant) chord:
Can you imagine what might have happened if Doc Watson popped out a riff like these in Hot Corn Cold Corn?
I know that you are a musician that uses both your ears and mind during your writing and arranging. I was curious if (to what extent) you are thinking about blue note placement or if you prefer to do more of what David does and follow the melody in interesting ways using both licks from your mental library and just listening closely as to what your hands are doing at any given moment while finding fun things to do during that process.
I think you have explained it quite well above.
Thanks again Ben!