1) Playing the melody to songs, then:
2) Improvising over the chords to a song
It has taken some time, but I have integrated a few simple things, and I think I can do it. It would be great if I saw the lead sheet beforehand to see the chords, to prepare a bit; but I nailed it.
Learning the major scale in various places around the guitar neck. Learning the places in different places on the guitar neck allows for different organization of notes in each position.
I have found that my ear is surprisingly good and most melodies are right on that major scale.....
And knowing the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, min7b5 of each key gives hints as to when to change the key....