There are many types of software out there that are beneficial for transcribing. Some cost money, but some are free. Before you go and spend money on anything let’s talk about how you can get the most benefit from the transcribing software. Remember, the transcribing software is just a tool. It only assist you in what you are trying to do, it cannot replace the process. So with this is mind lets jump in.
Transcribing software can slow the music down if it is too fast for you to hear it. This is a last resort tool in my opinion. You should first try to transcribe at full speed. Once you know it, then you can slow it down to check your accuracy. If the phrase is over all too fast, you can slow it down a bit. However the closer it is to normal speed the better your ears will get. This is the whole point of transcribing, to train your ears. So yes slowing the music down can be beneficial, but as mentioned it is only a tool to assist you.
Most transcribing software comes with a key adjustment. It allows you to take the music in a key that is better for you. It may even come with a fine adjustment in case the recording is not quite in tune with your guitar. This is nice to have especially for people like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Yngwie Malmsteen who tunes their guitars down a half step. The only thing I would warn against with this tool is don’t learn everything in the same key. If someone is playing in Bb suck it up and learn it. Don’t take the easy way out. Learn it in the original key if possible. It will really benefit your playing.
Most transcribing software comes with a control to help you repeat sections of a song. This is beneficial so you don’t have to manually rewind a section of a solo you are trying to learn. Use this as much as you want. It really saves a lot of time. It can really help you memorize a sound of a lick as well.
Of course all transcribing software is different, some may have more tools than these, some may only have these, but what else do you really need? Anything else is cheating. You don’t want to cheat do you? So what transcribing software should you get? Well I use the program called “BestPractice”. It is free, and it does everything I listed above. I would suggest you try this program out, if you don’t like it then you can search for other ones. I wouldn’t pay for this software unless you really have to, but everyone has different preferences. Just keep in mind what was mentioned earlier.
Transcribing software is a valuable tool if used properly. It can help you learn extremely hard passages of music that you wouldn’t be able to learn otherwise, or it could help you play in tune with the original recording easier. Whatever the reason it is nice to aid your practice. Transcribing software is a tool to assist your practice. You can’t replace the benefit you receive using your ears. So try to push your ears as much as possible, but this program can help with that process. There are many transcribing software programs out there, just do some research. You don’t need to spend $75 on this software. Blessing!