Want to learn tunes? Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

Everyone wants to learn tunes.

Some want to learn the Jazz Standards, some want to learn cover songs, others church songs.

But if you're not careful, you can wind up actually making these 3 mistakes that make it harder to learn the tune in the first place.

Watch the video below to learn the best ways to learn tunes on your instrument.

Some tools to help you learn tunes on your instrument

  1. Go to the Jamey Aebersold website, and purchase Play Along Volumes 24, 1 and 21. (Volumes 24 and 1 are for beginners to Jazz, but Vol 21 is for everyone)
  2. Be sure to add Jamey's free handbook to your order. It is filled with a ton of important information and exercises to help you learn jazz.
  3. Enroll in my Master Your Favorite Saxophone Solos course. By using my method to learn tunes, licks and solos, you'll be able to apply that to your favorite music. 
  4. Learn your scales and chords! By doing that, you will have more tools in your tool belt to draw from when wanting to improvise, and you will better understand the tune you are studying. 

Don't forget to Like and Share this article on your favorite social media.


  1. OlgaJacobs says

    How do I come back to the saxophone after having played the clarinet for 3 years?

    • You’ll need to get used to the embouchure and your mouthpiece/reed combination again, as well as working up your breath support because the saxophone takes much more air.
      I would advise that you seek out a teacher, whether it’s in person or online, to guide you.

  2. Dick Boyum says

    Best way to learn (and remember) a song is to sing it.

  3. DALE F CLARK says

    Donna, enjoyed your video. I’ve been playing since 80s. I play in a couple of cover bands now and have always played by ear unless it’s a classic solo from e.g. rolling stones, bobby keys. Then I will loop solo back continuously and slow it down until it’s spot on. I only buy the sheet music to study the exact phrasing and never look at it again. I know exactly how it feels to play a melody over a harmony and not have it fit the chord rhythm. I struggle with that and you nailed the reason why. I simply have not imprinted the tune in my head, every time. The faces on the guitar and bass player will instantly revolt, ha. If you don’t fix it, you won’t get hired.

  4. Jeffrey York says

    Hi, Donna!

    Quick question: what would you say are the prerequisites for each of the Jamey Aebersold volumes you recommend? Specifically, what does one need to know in order to benefit from Volume 21? I’m a guitarist, and can play the major and Dorian minor scales in all keys and in all positions on my instrument; and while I don’t mind investing in a book that will help me improve, I don’t want to spend money on something that shows me how to do something I already know how to do.
    Thanks for all of the information you provide — I hope more people find out about your excellent articles and videos!


    • Hi Jeff, believe it or not, your question doesn’t yield a quick reply. Each volume is different and geared for particular levels of players.
      I’ll need to shoot a separate video for this book to help you make that decision.
      Thanks for the compliment!

      • Jeffrey York says

        Donna —
        If you have time, I would love to see a video on that topic. I have Volume 1, and agree with you that although there is much to read, the book contains a lot of very useful information in addition to the playing exercises. I also own Volume 21, but am reluctant to work on that material if there are things in Volume 24 that one should address first.
        Thanks again for all the help and inspiriation!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site makes use of cookies which may contain tracking information about visitors. By continuing to browse this site you agree to our use of cookies.