Bobb Bruno, guitarist for duo Best Coast, has found inspiration across various genres of music. From ’60s pop music such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys to ’90s-era punk and alternative like The Melvins, the band’s sound feels both eclectic and yet familiar.

Bobb recently joined us for an episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory. Here are the top six things we learned during the episode, along with a timestamp for each segment so you can follow along.

#1 – Bobb started out as a bass player (0:14)

“I was originally a bass player, and started playing guitar just for fun, or more as a joke honestly to get my friends mad, because they were all shredders.”

#2 – His preferred string gauges have changed as he’s progressed as a guitarist (0:40)

He started out using Regular Slinky strings, and has evolved his preference to Skinny Top Heavy Bottom and baritone strings to better suit his needs for feel and tone.
“If I’m playing a guitar that just has standard strings, it just feels like I’m going to break them immediately.”

#3 – He views playing guitar as more than just a creative outlet (1:22)

“It can be just kind of a meditative thing where if you’re stressed out, or just don’t want to think about the world, I can really get lost in it.”

#4 – Growing up in the ’80s era of shred guitar was intimidating (2:28)

“I would watch my friends do that kind of stuff, play some Randy Rhoads solo or something, and I’d be like, I’m never going to be able to do that, so I’m not even going to get started.”

#5 – His focus when playing is always on writing (3:13)

He heard an interview with King Buzzo of The Melvins talk about never picking up a guitar to practice or woodshed, only with the intention of writing, and that stuck with him.

#6 – He values emotional resonance above technical ability (4:19)

“How many songs have you heard where somebody just hits the most awesome sounding chord? If you showed somebody that chord, anybody can do it, but it just resonates inside of you. And that’s one of the cool, almost intangible things about music, is just how it connects with us as human beings.”

String Theory

Watch every episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory at our website, featuring such players as Kirk Hammett, Chris Broderick, Kurt Vile and more. You can also enjoy some of Best Coast’s most popular songs in this Spotify playlist.

Guitar Strings

Bobb Bruno plays Ernie Ball M-Steel Skinny Top Heavy Bottom guitar strings. Do you? Try a set.

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