I play in a band that stays fairly true to the original recordings that we cover. I use Transcribe (by Seventh String) to transcribe the bass part using standard notion to both help me learn the song and to improve my reading ability. Im starting this thread to consolidate tips on using software to learn songs, not to debate the merits of transcribing or playing in a cover band. I dont use music notation software because my transcriptions are only for my benefit. Heres my usual routine. Download the mp3 file if I dont already have it and open the file with the Transcribe software. Confirm key that were going to play the song (usually original key, but sometimes changed by singer) Listen for a few seconds to get a sense of the beat. Replay the song from the beginning and place measure markers at the beginning of each measure. Where the one is not obvious, I make a visual note of where the previous measure falls to approximate where the one should be. If that doesnt work, I make a note of the length of each measure in the hope that the tempo is reasonably consistent. Adjust for any partial measures. Change the measure markers to section markers where appropriate (e.g. beginning of each verse, chorus, or bridge) Edit the first measure markers to automatically subdivide each measure into beats (usually four). Edit the subdivision of measures for partial measures or changing time signatures. Make a note of which sections are vocals or solos. Shift the focus to chord structure. Identify roots, chord qualities, and slash chords (e.g. bass doesnt play the root). Change the key if necessary. Fine tune the pitch if necessary. Raise the octave if the notes are too low to identify. Write out the song using repeat notations as appropriate.