When you play lead guitar, do you predominantly approach the instrument in terms of: 1) Scale patterns, various boxes, arpeggios, intervalic shapes, and so on. 2) Familiar licks and memorized phrases transposed into the appropriate key. 3) Purely in terms of emotion expressed as musical tones. . . . or perhaps some other scheme entirely? For me personally, I approach it two ways. First, I merely aspire to have emotion, intuition, and pure feeling be expressed through the relationship of tones, with as little overlaid artifice of pattern and structure as possible. It is an ideal of pure expression. Secondly, and more realistically, I concede to the need to reference the familiar, the traditional, and the tasteful. For instance, what would a blues lead sound like without hitting the flat 5th? There are certain phrases, depending upon whether you are in a blues, rock, or metal context, which are as comfortable and expected as saying "Hello" when greeting somebody. It's simply what one does in that scenario. It is very difficult for the average music listener to "grab hold" of something absent these familiar references. While of necessity I root my lead playing in patterns and traditional phrases, there is another aspect of myself which aspires to soar free from these constraints into the unencumbered empyrean of pure emotional expression. There's a parallel with one of the oldest of aspirations, the desire of the human spirit, rooted in the corporeal body, to be set free of that limiting encumbrance.