Adam Bauer: Inspired to compose


Photo provided by Adam Bauer

A MUSICIAN AT HIS NATURAL HABITAT: Junior Adam Bauer gently strokes a harmonious chord on his guitar, which is plugged into an interface that transfers the music to his digital audio workstation.

Arya Bhattacharjee, Staff Writer

Even though music is a large part of everyone’s lives, songwriters generally go under the radar when it comes to admiring and analyzing pieces of music. Junior guitarist and musician Adam Bauer takes us behind the scenes on what it takes to write music and the many different steps and roadblocks that songwriters face along the way in order to bring us the music that we all love.

The Howler: What inspired you to begin composing music?

Adam Bauer: About a year ago, before the pandemic, I played jazz guitar in various honor bands and performed at places like the NAMM show. However, once COVID hit, I was inspired by many singer-songwriters and their music, which led me to start writing music of my own.

TH: What goes through your mind when you are trying to come up with a new song? Do you actively look for inspiration or does it come to you naturally?

AB: It almost always comes to me naturally. When I try to force inspiration it doesn’t work. Usually it will happen when I come across a song or album I really like. I’ll analyze the various aspects of the music that I like, and I might try using some of those elements in my own stuff. For example, I saw an Instagram clip of a songwriter named Michael Lemmo playing an original, and I really liked the vibe of the song and I started writing a song with similar aspects but still my own thing.

TH: Once you do get your inspiration, what is it like to actually write the entire song?

AB: Usually the inspiration will come in phases. Depending on how well the writing goes, it can take a couple weeks or just a couple days. Then, I’ll usually make a beat on my digital audio workstation and hope that it turns out well. Usually a fifth of the songs I make pass this stage just because it doesn’t turn out how I’d like it to a lot of the time. Finally, I’ll start writing a melody and lyrics, one section at a time.

TH: What does it take to go from just playing music to actually being able to write your own songs?

AB: I think the most important part is having a clear vision of what you want to sound like with what you write. At the end of the day, I always find the product to be more satisfying than the process, so perseverance is really key.

TH: What are some words of advice you would give to people getting into songwriting?

AB: I would say the most important thing is being consistent and trying to work on honing the craft every day. You can also do various things to put yourself in a creative mindset before you start practicing. For me I usually go for a jog and listen to music before I practice. That way I have a clearer vision when I’m ready to try writing stuff.