Rex Brown: Five Things We Learned from His Ernie Ball ‘String Theory’ Episode

String Theory is a web series from Ernie Ball that explores the sonic origins of some of music’s most influential and innovative guitar players.

In the latest episode, Pantera and Down bassist Rex Brown discusses his philosophies on music and bass playing, as well as Pantera, his new music and more.

Here are five interesting facts revealed in the episode:

1. ZZ Top was one of his first major inspirations (0:32): “I heard ZZ Top for the first time, and I was probably 8 or 9 years old—that just did it for me. That’s where that boogie started.”

2. He believes in a selfless approach to bass playing (1:00): “If you listen to the great bass players, they don’t step on the vocal. At the same time, you can incorporate the riff into what you’re doing, keeping the low end really really tight. You just have to lock in. Because that way it gives everybody time to shine.”

3. He can recall the earliest days of Dimebag Darrell’s guitar playing (3:22): “I can remember when Dime didn’t hardly even know a barre chord. Then he when into his bedroom for about a year and came out this protege.”

4. His string of choice? Ernie Ball Cobalt (4:00): “As a bass player, they’re the most consistent that I’ve played in quite a while. They’ve got this slinky vibe, but it’s got the meat to it. It harkens back to exactly what I need for the sound I’m looking for.”

5. Being in Nashville helped refocus his music (4:45): “I just came to Nashville about a year ago. It just brought a new focus into my life. I’ve spend the last year putting together this record. I don’t care if people love it or hate it—I hope both!”

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