Automatic pilot suits me just fine. I'm programmed for 4/4 time but I'll move to waltz time to keep myself awake. I don't pay much attention to key. I usually find an octave that seems to suit me but I'm likely to change that in the middle of a song.
Now, Picasso painted realism before he went boldly into representationalism. He knew perfectly well that there was one eye on each side of the nose. Charlie Parker knew all his scales. Boy, did he know all his scales! He heard the melody and he played it when he wanted to play it. Mostly he plucked genius out of the ether.
Somehow I've bumbled through without really learning how to do much of anything. In order to defend myself, to keep from admitting to the sin of sloth, I have used any excuse that I could come up with. I've probably stolen some of them.
This is no apology. I betcha' I would do it all like this again. In fact, I recommend it.