#1
So I'm an 'ok' rhythm guitar player, and I know some scales (major, minor, pentatonic / blues) that I can play all over the place, as well as several different patterns / shapes of the scales, can pick out keys really easy in songs and hit correct notes that would sound awesome in a solo, but my improv and ability to put together solo runs SUCKS! I end up slowing WAY down, playing the same things over and over, and I basically lack ideas. Hitting the correct notes is not an issue. I 'see' the patterns when I'm playing but getting my brain and hands to make good improv solos is another thing.

How do I get more ideas and how do I start linking ideas together smoothly?
#2
I have the same problem. I think the best way to become more creative with soloing and improvising in general, is to just play with other guitarists. Watch what they do, and have them show you whatever tricks they like to use during improvising. You will learn a little trick here from one guitarist, another little trick here from another guitarist, and you will soon have your own style of soloing and improvising, based on all those tricks meshed together.
#3
I had exactly the same problem and I think the reason is there are really two parts to playing good lead guitar:

1. Technical skill - the ability to physically play the guitar
2. Creativity or "musical ability"

People don't often differentiate between these two things are they really should. Here's a couple of ways you could stoke up your "creative flair":

1. Play random notes from a partiular scale in a random order and throw in different techniques willy nilly! This often spurs me on to come up with some creative guitaring
2. Play mutiple strings at once and use string skipping
3. Move up and down the neck randomly
4. Use picking inflection - try and play one note many different ways, this will get you into a creative mind set.

Basically mix it up, give your self permission to make mistakes this is what really changed my playing. Try out this improv course too, it could really help: strumdog improvisation course

Let me know how it goes!
#4
I used to have this problem until one day when I was jamming with a couple of other guitarists, having a couple of drinks and realized that I actually ripped out a natural sounding solo...

I tried to figure out why it sounded so goo and thought "it must not really sound that good, I probably just thought it did since I was drunk"

Later when I jammed with my band, I nailed another one also when I was drunk, but this time it was recorded and I got to hear that it was a really good solo, not just good cuz I was drunk.

I'm not trying to say that people need to drink to get better, it's actually the reason I realized that the solo will sound better when your not thinking about what you can do, just loosen up and let your fingers do the work. They will naturally go to where they need to.

If you wanna use a really technical solo, incorporating many of these difficult techniques, it's best to write down what you are gonna do a head of time. but I stick with the rule of "don't think it just do it."
#5
Quote by bumhucker
So I'm an 'ok' rhythm guitar player, and I know some scales (major, minor, pentatonic / blues) that I can play all over the place, as well as several different patterns / shapes of the scales, can pick out keys really easy in songs and hit correct notes that would sound awesome in a solo, but my improv and ability to put together solo runs SUCKS! I end up slowing WAY down, playing the same things over and over, and I basically lack ideas. Hitting the correct notes is not an issue. I 'see' the patterns when I'm playing but getting my brain and hands to make good improv solos is another thing.

How do I get more ideas and how do I start linking ideas together smoothly?

some advice:
1) short-term: start free-styling a little bit every day. By that I mean loop a progression or something to solo over. If you want, keep yourself limited to 1 or 2 strings for simplicity, and just start playing. Forget scales and don't even look down. Just follow your ears and make some phrases that sound nice to you - no matter how simple. This always helped me bring out my creative side.

2) long-term: Do ear training every day... in particular intervals. Be able to automatically recognize the sound of any interval within an octave up or down of any note on command. This can take a bit of time if you have no prior training. Just stick with it a little every day. Use software or free web sites that specialize in interval training if necessary.
This leads to knowing how to play exactly what you hear in your head. It sounds weird the way I describe it, but trust me you'll start to play phrases instead of scales eventually. Training your ear is a must to let your ideas flow.

Those are just two isolation exercises to develop your improv skills. You still need to listen a lot to other players and practice.

One other thing I find helpful is to take solos from other instruments and learn them on guitar. I especially like sax solos and harmonica solos from john popper. This, almost without fail gives me new ideas for approach to guitar improv. Good luck.
#7
Put a lot of time in developing your ear. Spend time transcribing other peoples' playing. You have to develop the connection between your ear and the guitar. You should have a really good idea of how a note will sound before you play it, otherwise you are just moving your hands randomly.