Man, am I a geek to be so excited about this.... you have no idea.
THE greatest software this guitar player has ever come across is a wonderful package called "Transcribe!". This joyous bundle of code allows you to import a sound file of a song you are trying to learn. Once imported, you can slow it down to less than half speed. The best part: you don't alter the pitch at all! You can also maintain the tempo but raise the pitch in semitones. All you floating tremolo system guys can celebrate; no more retuning songs in Eb! Just pitch adjust that sucker up one semitone and whammo! Instant Stevie Ray Vaughan!
Even cooler, with a click and a drag of your mouse across the file, you can highlight any piece and endlessly loop it until you figure it out. What?!? There's more?? Yes!! You can EQ out the bass part or any other interfering frequency. My personal favourite: flip it into Karaoke mode to remove those annoying "it's all about me" vocalists (yeah I said it!). Honestly, it does more than all this. There are so many features I don't even know yet.
For the record, I am no company shill. I have no affiliation with these guys and stand to profit zero from its promotion. I am just SO darned happy that someone has used their skills to make my life so much easier. Long gone are the days of dragging my finger across my vinyl to slow the turntable down (destroying yet another album). Priced at a mere $50, this packs so much value for the money.
There is a free, fully- functioning demo to boot:
Putting on my teacher's hat for a moment - ANY guitarist who is serious about improving MUST learn to use their ears to figure out songs. This is a critical skill all pro players have. In this era of internet Tab and YouTube lessons, extra steps must be taken to avoid falling into the trap of getting someone else to do the work for you. If you don't learn at least one song per week using only your ears, you are (as the singer of Japanese metal band Loudness used to say) CLAZY!
The world of guitar could use all the good ears we can get!