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Brian: "I'm uniquely aware that there is nothing I'm doing that is so goddamn special. There is no pioneering element to this. I can play the way I do because I've had a whole lot of practice. For some unknown reason I've lead a charmed life and I am able to be in bands and go on tour". "I can't experiment, I play pretty much the same way all the time. It's like your own personal style of jerking off; you develop a method that feels right and is unique to you".
The chord structure on most BR songs is something like Am F C G (in different keys, though), and Hetson and Brett mostly solo over this in natural minor (e.g. for Am, the scale a b c d e f g a), but Brian sometimes does a little more dissonant things (e.g. "Parallel" and "Cease"). Sometimes they use melodic minor for songs, as in using E major (E G# B) for the end of a verse or something (when using the aforementioned chord structure). Then, the scale is a b c d e f g# a (e.g. "American Jesus").
Hetson and Brian baker said in a guitar magazine that using les pauls, sgs, and jcm 900 marshall heads are the best equipment for punk rock.
Brian said The Gray Race and Stranger than fiction are tuned at A 440, but they play the songs one half step down live. "The earlier records are tuned to whatever the bass was when it came out of the case. When I joined the band I couldn't believe that no one bought a tuner until 1994. Punk, huh?".
Greg: "I could never play rhythm guitar as good as Hetson, but I thought I was just about as good as Brett. So I thought of myself as an adequate guitar player. Brian showed me what a really great guitarist can do for an album. And it helped me with songwriting because any ideas I had he could expand on them". When asked how does it feel like to hear people imitating your style, Hetson answered "I don't hear it much. Other people do and they'll say 'can you hear what they're doing? it's a total rip-off of that song of yours!' But I never hear it myself". And Brian answered "I, on the other hand, absolutely hear it all the time -bright, loud as day (...) And I think it's the coolest thing in the fucking world. The only problem is when they are better (...) and when I do hear it, usually it's people who come up to me anyway and cop to it, so it's not like I'm in this egomaniacal world imagining it all.".
The 10 commandments of punk guitar, by Brian and Hetson:
Greg: "Brian's a lot better guitarist, he can do anything. Brett self-acknowledges he wasn't as proficient; he had a style, a very sloppy style".