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

(Image credit: Ernie Ball)

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!”

For more on Ernie Ball, visit

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Guitar World Staff
Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.