I've been playing guitar for 5 years, 3 and a half for chords and 1 and a half for lead. Why is it easier like way easier for me to learn solos than riffs. For example, it took me 45 minutes to get the first 5 notes down for the dark eternal knight by dream theater but it took me 15 minutes to learn the whole intro solo and be able to play it good accuracy and technique wise in wish you were here by Pink Floyd. Why is this?
In this case, the intro you are playing is more complicated that the solo.

However, in general, riffs can require more complex chord progressions, palm muting, specific picking techniques that require muscle memory to play consistently clean. Slower solos don't require as much muscle memory as you can literally play note by note by reading the music as you play.

In summary, some riffs don't allow you time to think about the notes, it is all muscle memory, which requires more repetition to get down.
You are comparing Pink Floyd to Dream Theater. It has less to do with solos vs riffs and more to do with how technically demanding the music of those bands is in general. Dream Theater is a really technical band and most of their stuff (riffs, solos, whatever) is technically demanding. David Gilmour on the other hand usually plays solos that are focused on melodies, not on technically impressive stuff. Of course that kind of stuff has its own challenges, but learning to play it technique-wise shouldn't be that difficult.

Try learning a Dream Theater solo and see if you still think riffs are more difficult than solos.

BTW, it's Dark Eternal Night, not "Knight".
Quote by AlanHB
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