most of the guitar players i know say that jazz improvisation is done by knowledge of chords, scales ...
but i prefer to improvise by pure feeling(connected with the necessary amount of scale wisdom). i mostly play blues, rock and country and that works well but is it possible to improvise to jazz without thinking chord theory?
Absolutely. A little bit of both always works the best though.
Listen to jazz, it'll make you a better guitar player.

Whatever you do, stay creative
it's possible, but very difficult. you'd have to get yourself to the point that it's like a native language to you, though. most people can speak their native language very well, but may not necessarily understand the grammatical concepts behind it. if you haven't gotten to the point where jazz is like a native tongue to you, then it's just going to be like you're learning a foreign language.

remember, music is a language, and the styles are all dialects.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
The short answer is yes. But playing by feeling is not mutually excluse with knowing what you're doing, and believe me, it makes a whole lot of things much easier. In a lot of genres -not just jazz - you will stumble across a chord that's not in the key you're playing, or the song might even modulate to another key. believe me, i've heard a lot of improvisers falling in the trap of thinking that "one-scale-fits-all" and just winging it from there.
I would say feeling & listening, rather than feeling & thinking. There isn't a whole lot of time to think when you're doing something instantly.

and yeah, if you listen, you can play jazz without knowing theory, but don't take this as an endorsement for avoiding theory.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 20, 2011,
Let me ask you a question:

When you're having a conversation, are you thinking or are you feeling?

Probably both, honestly. When you're dealing with complex issues at the edge of your understanding, you're probably thinking a lot, but the more comfortable you are the less thinking you do consciously.

When you're new at this stuff, you have to think and plan a lot more, but the more experience you get the more intuitive it becomes.
The way I see it you is that you spend a shitload of hours analyzing and thinking through what you play and why. And then when you perform the work you put on the chord-theory, scales and what not will come through when you're playing by pure feeling.

I believe having a strong foundation in knowing what you play is the best way to develop your ear to be able to play what you want by pure feeling.
thats the goal, and its accomplished by hours and hours of practicing, learning theory (and no, not just "chord theory", theres also "melody theory", "rhythm theory", "scale theory" "phrase theory"--or to be succinct and more accurate, music theory) and training your ear.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)