Guitar adds different vibe to anthem


The Star Spangled Banner is one of the most familiar songs in America, but it takes on a different feel when Nixon Seegebarth performs it.

Seegebarth, a senior at Seward High, performs the anthem on his electric guitar.

He started playing guitar around age 13 after he saw a video of blues singer and guitarist John Lee Hooker.

“I wondered how to do that. I wanted to do it,” Seegebarth said.

He took lessons from Steve Steinauer of Seward, but those stopped during Covid. Instead, Seegebarth turned to the internet to learn more.

The first song he played was “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. He also likes “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen, a song that gives goosebumps and “I can’t help but smile,” he said.

He started playing in the SHS jazz band as a sophomore and has accompanied the show choir since the same year.

He first played the National Anthem for one of the P.R.I.D.E. rallies during Covid.

“There’s a bit of nerves,” he said.

However, he’s practiced enough that the music flows.

One of his favorite songs is “I Thank the Lord” by B.B. King. He also likes music by guitarists like Wayne Kramer, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

He started out playing drums and took piano lessons, but neither instrument resonated with him like the guitar.

“There’s not as much emotional attachment,” he said.

He likes just sitting and practicing. He said he’s taken advice from Eddie Van Halen to keep playing.

“As long as you play and have fun,” he said.

He prefers the electric guitar to the acoustic guitar because the electric instrument is easier on the hands and the musician can add more effects. The acoustic guitar has harder strings, he said.

Seegebarth plans to attend Southeast Community College and study land surveying.

He’ll continue playing the guitar, too.

Seegebarth has his own band, Macrowave, which plays original music by him and his friend Camden. He also plays with Boondox.