Learn Jazz Improv & Build Vocabulary with Ryan Devlin 101

Learn Jazz Improv & Build Vocabulary with Ryan Devlin 101

Jazz musician Ryan Devlin unveils his secret practice technique: etude writing! In this video, he shows how to build your own jazz vocabulary by borrowing and manipulating phrases from solos you love. Check it out and discover a new way to improvise!
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A few years ago we created a Youtube series with Ryan Devlin. We didn't advertised too much. So, as we said, better late than never... These educational videos are really interesting so it's time to share them on our website!

This first video is about etude writing, discussing Ryan's use of this technique in his practice and lessons.

Etude Writing:

  • Ryan encourages creating your own etudes based on "other people's language" (phrases and ideas from solos you like).
  • He recommends keeping ideas short (4-bar or 2-bar phrases) for easier manipulation and connection.
  • He demonstrates the process using examples from a Seamus Blake solo on "Billy's Bounce."
  • He combines and develops various phrases from the solo into an original etude that doesn't directly quote Blake but utilizes his language.

Benefits and Applications:

  • Etude writing helps build jazz vocabulary and improvisation skills by internalizing and manipulating borrowed language.
  • It offers an alternative to buying and transcribing pre-written etudes.
  • The technique can be applied to specific lines, pentatonic shapes, or harmonic substitutions.

I hope you will enjoy it!