Welcome to the fifth day of producing “Please Don’t Come Home,” the second song in my 10-song music production marathon.

If you’re just joining me, you should read about the origins of the 10-song project. Or, go back to the first day of production on this song!

Otherwise, let’s get into this relatively thoughtful and contemplative production day. It’s focused on creating contrast, change, and return in your musical compositions.

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Day 5: A Late Start is Better Than None at All

Today was a busy day of “real life.” So, I couldn’t open up my music workstation until late at night. Still, I’m trying whatever I can think of to move things forward, even on low energy. The biggest danger is stalling out completely.

Between the Verse, Chorus, and Bridge, it seems like the Verse is the weakest concept. I don’t have a strong idea for it that I love (yet). That makes the Verse the top priority right now.

I need to experiment and test musical ideas to find a core to the Verse that I can be excited about.

So I layer four tracks of me singing on “Aah”, coming up with a very rich and interesting-sounding sonic texture. But, as cool as it sounds, I’m not sure how to work lyrics into something like that. Still, maybe I can figure that out later (even though the last song gave me plenty of trouble when I waited too long to write words for the vocal melodies I had in mind).

Note from the future: I ended up saving this entire section / idea for another song (maybe). As much as I liked the sound on its own, it simply wasn’t fitting correctly into the bigger picture.

Song Structure: Departure and Return

On a different note, the transitions between major song sections are getting a little more clear in my mind. I think the ending line of each section can be repeated to “anchor” transitions as the music transforms from one section to the next.

However, here’s the biggest, scariest artistic problem right now. Despite how cool each section sounds on its own, and despite the fact that each section can flow naturally into the other, and even though the sections are all different, I still sense that the underlying material is all too similar.

I might be able to logically argue that the song changes by pointing out the various musical elements that are different between sections, but there’s not enough feeling of change… of departure and return.

That’s it, I might have just nailed it down: especially for such a long song with such big sections, the problem is none of the parts are going away from home far enough…

How do I fix that? I’m not sure yet. I’ve considered that I may have to save one of the sections parts for a different song; still that feels like ripping the idea apart. It might be key to completely abandon my time limitation of 4 minutes.

Does the Song Need a Pre-Chorus?

I also consider if creating some kind of Pre-Chorus would add the change and difference I seek. Unfortunately, that would also bend the rules on my intended “ABABCB” form that this project is supposed to follow.

I’m not saying I can’t break the rules to help the song - but it does kind of defeat the purpose of the project, since my original goal was to follow a specific form and learn to work within it. It also creates a whole new problem, since I’ve never written a Pre-Chorus before.

But, I have to get up early tomorrow and do a lot of other stuff, and I’m already behind on sleep, so I can’t keep pushing through - or I’m going to pay for it. Gah! I have so many ideas, but my brain feels like it’s only one-third turned-on.

Let’s try to get sleep and give my ears and brain and eyes a rest instead. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

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