1. Learn To Recall The Notes On GuitarThe most obvious skill you must develop to make yourself a better songwriter or improviser is the ability to recall EVERY note on the guitar neck. In addition, you need to be able to do this instantaneously, without having to think about the note names any more than you think about the names of the months in a year. Many guitar players stop after they develop the skill to merely 'find' the name of any note on guitar after several seconds of thought. This is not enough for you to truly benefit from this knowledge in your guitar playing and you must work towards a much more intuitive command of the note names on your instrument. To help you to do this, watch the free video lesson learning the neck of the guitar (link at the bottom of the article).
2. Master Scales All Across The Guitar NeckThis is a skill that you need to work on separately from learning individual note names on guitar. There are some guitar players who have memorized the note names for every fret of the guitar, but have never worked on playing scales in more than one area of the guitar neck. As a result, their superior knowledge of individual notes is of limited value to them because it is not connected with a more tangible musical element of scale playing. If practicing scales in this way is new to you, then you can expect to see quite dramatic improvements in your creativity on guitar once you learn to play scales all over the fretboard instead of only in 1-2 areas of the guitar neck.
3. Learn What Chord And Interval Shapes Look Like On The Guitar FretboardOne rarely mentioned skill that is nonetheless critically important for complete mastery of the guitar fretboard is the ability to visualize the patterns (shapes) of frets that form intervals, scales, chords and general licks you play on guitar. This will enable you to play a note on your instrument and immediately know where to find a chord, interval or scale pattern based on that note. This skill will greatly speed up (and make easier) the process of expressing yourself creatively on guitar.
4. Play Guitar In Different KeysAs guitar players, we often get used to playing in certain keys that are easier due to taking advantage of the natural properties of this instrument (such as open strings). That being said, in order to expand your total control of the guitar neck and your creativity along with it, you need to test your ability to quickly transpose all of your comfortable guitar parts into totally random and obscure keys. Note that even though it is quite simple to understand in theory what it means to slide a certain scale fingering from the key of A major to the key of Eb major (for instance), doing so will still make it more difficult for you to play guitar until you become comfortable with visualizing the guitar neck in this unusual key. If you get yourself to spend time working on this task while practicing, you will find it much easier for yourself to feeling confident with playing creative music on guitar. After reading the points above, it should be easy to see that building musical creativity on guitar does not revolve around tricks or secrets that only the "naturally talented few" are born with. Although there is a lot more to the general topic of creative guitar playing than what I have time to explore in this article, the practicing steps for developing visualization of guitar fretboard can be done by anyone and the result will be a much higher level of freedom and control over expressing yourself on guitar. To get more advice and help about developing both your mastery of the guitar neck and musical creativity, study this free guitar lesson video: