“I hate punching in. If you don’t have your bassline down, you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing”: Rex Brown reveals the tricks behind his super-heavy bass technique

Rex Brown from the band Pantera performs on stage during day 3 of Tons Of Rock 2023 at on June 23, 2023 in Oslo,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Known as one of the originators of the “groove metal” sound pioneered by Pantera in the early '90s, Rex Brown leaves his mark no matter what band he’s playing bass with, often flirting with the guitars long enough to keep the riffs tight before throwing something unexpected into the mix. It helps that he also throws down some of the heaviest string bends this side of Geezer Butler.

Unlike most bass guitar players, at least those outside the thrash metal scene, Brown has been required to hone a precision-engineered picking technique over the years. This was largely thanks to the superhuman downstrokes of his late colleague Darrell 'Dimebag' Abbott.

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.