Listening to the Marco Sfogli album has me seriously considering tossing all of my guitars in the woodchipper. His phrasing is absolutely amazing - he constantly tosses out so much interesting sounding stuff that's different, but still manages to sit easily on your ear.
How do you guys (I'm looking at you, Lyle) go about crafting lead and harmony lines that aren't just ripping through the usual shapes?
I look at it like this:
There are a few note choices that catch the ear. Namely 3rds, 5ths, 7ths, and 9ths.
I look at how I can "grab" one of those notes in a run. Or even exagerrate where I'm going to get to one of them.
I also look at certain patterns of playing scales. Like playing arpeggios in different patterns that add a staccato to them to make them sound less like the arbitrary repetitive note progression they've so popularly become.