For me, the first statement is very important developing the rest of the solo. I want to feel like I'm circling the tune like a vulture, waiting for the right time to drop in and devour my carcass. The first statements of a solo should have some relationship with either the tune or the prior solo. It should let the listener know that a new section of music has started. These first statements also act as a bridge for what came before. It's a mood change. I may not even have a particular mood in mind, it may be just an expression or a type of look that you may give someone.
Sometimes just for a change of pace I'll give myself 'limiters'. This means that I'll pick a few specific limits to different factors of my playing. I might set a limit on the range of just the first chorus, for example only playing between low D and middle G. Another approach would be to limit the dynamics that are you use, an example would be to play only piano on the A sections and only forte on the bridges. You might limit yourself to a couple of types of articulation or one type of interval. You could also limit yourself directionally, like only playing lines that ascend. If you combine more than one 'limiter' you can really get some cool effects that you might not come across any other way.
By using limits in this way you can create some very interesting and unique textural effects. You don't have to use limits for your entire solo, maybe just in the beginning or for a short period of time in the middle or at the end. You might try switching from a set of limiters to the opposite (or complementary) set of limiters half way though the solo. Some limiters would be better used for free playing, they can give structure and variety when there is little form in the music. An example of a limiter best used in free situations would be to only play flat or sharp, or to only play alternate fingerings.
Like any technique or musical device it takes some practice to get from the conscious mentation stage to the intuitive reaction stage. At first limiters are an entirely intellectual process, but with some practice they become automatic and natural. Of course some limiters will probably never be totally spontaneous, like deciding to only play Major or Diminished triads over an entire tune. Sometimes you need to set limits in order to focus what you're working on.
The idea of limiters is also related to what I like to think of as the table of opposites. This is an adaptation from an an idea from an ancient document called the tablet of Hermes. The fourth principle from this document is the principle of polarity. It reads like this:
How about these for a start:
and on and on.....
The more you become aware of all of the opposites, the more you can determine where your playing is on the scale of the opposites and the more you can bring balance and variety to your playing. Some players may be totally unaware of let's say the Sad-Happy opposite and always play happy sounding solos, never varying the level of happiness. Some of the West Coast swing players might do this. By consciously playing toward the opposite poles of your usual playing you can break yourself out of some real ruts.
Awareness of the musical opposites can really help give you a better idea of all your musical options for improvisation. If you aren't aware of these opposites then you could end up getting stuck in a rut with regards to your overall sound and texture. Even the mental and emotional sets of opposites can help you give more variety and depth to your improvisation.
And the Infinite,We must develop our abstract thinking in order to fully understand such an abstract art form like music.
according to Its Wisdom,
took a portion of its own being
and separated itself
into the pairs of opposites
which make up all aspects
of the manifest;
Dark and Light;
Night and Day;
Cold and Hot;
Wet and Dry;
Soft and Hard;
Negative and Positive;
Female and Male;
Dead and Living.
Astrology and pairs of opposites