For most of my playing days as far as improvisation goes I've relied on my ears for playing what I though sounded good in a few Pentatonic shapes, which I semi convincingly got away with for years!! (i think)
The main reason I stuck with this approach was probably because i thought that there were way too many complicated scales to learn and that I wouldn't be academic understand all that theory.
However recently i have started digging into it and was kinda surprised that that all you really need to know to cover 90% of situations is a handful of scales really:-
Major/Minor Pentatonic (almost the same thing)
Mixolydian - Play over Major 7 chords
Dorian - play over Minor 7 chords
After learning all this stuff (most of it i actually already knew but didn't really understand it.) I've found my playing get way better and I actually feel like I know what I'm doing finally!
Anyway haven't really explained this very well as I'm not giving a course on scales (please correct me if anything I've said is rubbish) but just wanted to know if there's any stuff you guys have learned late that you wish you had known sooner?