Also, a friend of mine who has HUGE arms said to count the reps after I start feeling the burn.
He is right. This is because you lack the mmc to make use of heavy weights at lower rep ranges.
What you want to do now is NOT purposefully use exercise variations that force you to go light or eliminate cheating etc, but use methods to improve on your mmc since that should be the objective. Once you do that, you can make anything work.
For example, from what your friend suggested, you can something barbell curls for high reps at the start, with the objective of getting as much of a pump as possible. Then, do standing dumbbell curls as heavy as possible for 6-8 reps. Notice the difference when your biceps are pumped up. Squeeze the weight up forcefully from the bottom, maintain the contraction all the way and lower the weight under control with the biceps. You CAN cheat as long as you are lifting the weight with your biceps. You can end up doing a weird dance like Branch Warren as long as the mmc is there.
In the end, you should be able to do this without pumping up your biceps at the start because your mmc is good enough. The arms are just like any other bodypart. You can train them the same way.