Yeah i've found that playing slowly until you can get the actual movements and combination's down to then play them in the proper timing. Especially for some of the more complicated stuff i've tried to learn in the past couple years like Auqualung and Yours Is No Disgrace.
My biggest problem is that i have to always have to start from some sort of perceived 'beginning' for a riff. Like if the problem i'm having is say the 10th note in a certain riff i always have to start back at note 1 and can't say pick up at note 5 or 6 for some reason, my mind just can't seem to do it unfortunately. Perhaps if i had the time to practice more i could over come it.
The 2 biggest things i learned that have helped me learn new songs down the road is to find the most efficient way to place my hand on the neck to play any particular part. The way i place my hand for any note(s) is greatly influenced by what i have to play next and i need to be able to get to that next position easily and quickly. The other thing is just memorizing the note combination's to the point that i when i'm looking at the neck it's always at the NEXT note i need to play instead of what i am playing at that instant. It really helps me keep the flow of the song going in my mind.
I'd love to get a 5 string bass one day but that will be far off if at all. I recall looking into them a while back and noticing that the base price jump from 4 to 5 strings is something like $1500 and that's close to dbl what i payed for my actual 4 string, lol.
OH! And the Tragically Hip song i tried to learn by ear was Yawning or Snarling but i didn't do to well, heh.