I would never have been able to consider trying to learn to play (especially early music), nor would I have kept up trying, without using these software programs. While they will never replace
a good live teacher, they provide so many useful elements... in a completely patient and non-judgmental way... (
) I've yet to find a teacher who has the patience to sit with me at 3am and re-play the same six measures 20 times in a row while I struggle to keep time accurately, accelerating from 30bpm to 75bpm and beyond... or transpose a new non-guitar piece for me, or arrange a midi file for me from pieces written for another instrument... or let me rummage through a vast collection of obscure pieces, "humming a few bars" of each one, while I search for a specific one that I've been trying to find...
I started using them long before I took up the guitar (for recorder pieces), and have been using them for at least ten+ years. They are among the first things that I upgrade and reload when I migrate to a new computer, and I would feel lost without them. It's much easier to START learning a piece when you can fix the rhythm accurately in your head... at a nice slow
pace... than it is to go back and try to fix errors once you've learned them.