Watch the >> Full View online guitar lesson by Larry Carlton from 335 Improv
I could've stayed within the harmonic scale of G major and given "Smiles and Smiles" a turnaround that climbed right up from Gmaj7 to Am7 to Bm7 to Cmaj7. But to my ears it was much more interesting to make that last chord a Bbmaj7. So how does that impact my solo improvisations?
If you're thinking progression or parent key, that Bbmaj7 will throw a monkey wrench into the works. But, if you're thinking chord to chord, and choosing notes to melodically lead you to the next change, then there's no problem at all.
As long as you are aware of the next change - and ready for what it's going to sound like - you can use leading tones to your advantage while creating and improvising melodic lines.