I just added an update to my Improvisation Insights Course on Teachable:
This time I list all the various ways to create variations.
First up is How to add pickup notes.
Without the ability to add pickup notes to a melody that is already there, your ability to improvise non-melody notes will be stifled.
One of the first steps to increasing your improvisation abilities is solidifying your sense of time. Pickup notes allow you to do this while keeping the melody constantly in your mental ear.