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: 1) Treat your guitar like shit and it will respect you. 2) To get that mean fuckin' low end and still retain some highs in your sound, use only Gibson guitars. SG's and Les Pauls are the ultimate punk rock tools. 3) Use only downstrokes. Downstrokes are the key to unlocking all punk rhythms. 4) Plaster your guitars with stickers to prove that you're an individual. Remember, being uncool is cool, so one Van Halen is worth three Sex Pistols stickers. 5) The Marshall JMP 100-Watt master volume head is the Holy Grail of amps. Other people get all hot and bothered about what kind of speakers and cabinets they use, but that's all bullshit. You can plug the JMP into virtually anything and it's going to sound wonderful. 6) No open tunings. Grunge is not punk rock. 7) Don't be self-indulgent. Limit your guitar solos to eight bars or less. Otherwise, you're playing metal. 8) Never, ever play a show with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth. It's incredibly painful when a stage diver pushes off your face and smashes the red-hot cherry into your cheek. 9) It may be punk to be fucked up at your day job, but when you take the stage you should be straight. It's hard to play music with intensity and speed when you're drunk. 10) Do not stack Marshall cabinets. That's not punk, it's arena rock. The Ramones are the only band exempted from this rule.
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".