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About Seth Ray

What first sparked Seth’s interest in guitar was the classic rock movie School of Rock. This movie along with playing Guitar Hero with his siblings as a kid is what made him realize guitar would be his life. Guitar gave him a sense of self, a sense of belonging as an awkward young kid from a small, mid-western town.  

Seth began playing guitar at the age of ten and performed in front of his first large crowd of K-4th graders later on that same year. This would be just the start of his relationship with guitar and the music that he could create. He spent the first several years taking lessons with Lander Ballard, a local songwriter and guitar teacher in his small town of Newton, Kansas. They would spend time each week working on various classic rock tunes. This included learning the chords, riffs, and eventually, the solos. By middle school, Seth wanted to be able to play the iconic and timeless solos he would always hear on the classic rock radio stations. This is where he began messing around with the pentatonic and blues scales. He took quickly to this rock style of playing. Before long, he was playing solos such as Stairway to Heaven and Hotel California. In High School, Seth joined the jazz band. This was his first introduction to jazz. He quickly realized that his rock background would not get him very far in a jazz setting, so he began listening to and learning more songs with complex chord progressions.

Eric Johnson and Guthrie Goven were his introductions to the shred and fusion genres.This did not exactly help with the Be-Bop tunes he was playing in jazz band, but it did open him up to the world of shred guitar. Towards the end of his time in high school, Seth learned that there wasn’t any profession that interested him more than being a guitarist. He couldn’t see himself doing anything other than performing or recording guitar for other musicians.  

These days, Seth Ray is finishing his fourth year as a Commercial Guitar Major in the Belmont University School of Music. On top of private guitar lessons, he is also taking private audio production lessons and various audio tech classes, teaching him how to be comfortable operating a DAW and creating his own tracks. In February, Seth played guitar for Maura Streppa at Belmont's Country Showcase in the Curb Event Center. He plans on continuing to work with her on stage and in the studio.

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