I've been playing bass for more than 20 years and have been really, actively 'listening' to music (as opposed to just passively hearing music) since I was pretty young. If there is one thing I've never been able to wrap my head around is how musicians remember very complex, very long streams of music. Classical, jazz, progressive and technical death metal are full of examples of well executed runs of notes that don't seem to have a "riff" to them, that go on for minutes. I get that the physical ability to play difficult pieces comes with practice, but I can't figure out how you can even remember that many notes that happen in such a short space of time, without much in the way of catchy, memorable, riff-iness. Since it is done a lot, there must be something to it I don't understand. What is the methodology or process behind learning long, complex pieces that have little or no repeating patterns, or who's patterns are minutes apart?