[27-Apr-2018 08:33:04 UTC] PHP Warning: PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library '/usr/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/pdo.so' - /usr/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/pdo.so: undefined symbol: zval_property_ctor in Unknown on line 0 [27-Apr-2018 08:33:04 UTC] PHP Warning: PHP Startup: pdo_sqlite: Unable to initialize module Module compiled with module API=20090626 PHP compiled with module API=20131226 These options need to match in Unknown on line 0 [27-Apr-2018 08:33:04 UTC] PHP Warning: PHP Startup: pdo_mysql: Unable to initialize module Module compiled with module API=20090626 PHP compiled with module API=20131226 These options need to match in Unknown on line 0 [27-Apr-2018 08:33:04 UTC] PHP Warning: PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library '/usr/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/sqlite.so' - /usr/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/sqlite.so: undefined symbol: zval_property_ctor in Unknown on line 0 [27-Apr-2018 08:33:04 UTC] PHP Fatal error: Class 'SpawConfig' not found in /home/musesmus/public_html/spaw/plugins/spawfm/config/config.php on line 4 Hit Song Secrets - by Anthony Ceseri

The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Hit Song Secrets

Anthony Ceseri By Anthony Ceseri

© 2012-2016, Anthony Ceseri. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission (Please do not reprint without asking permission!)

In this column we'll be analyzing hit songs to find out what makes them work (or not work). In doing this, you'll learn time-tested songwriting concepts, so you can use them in your own music. We'll be deconstructing your favorite songs so we can analyze the pieces and put them back into your own songs. You'll be at a major advantage by knowing how the most successful recording artists in the world are writing their hits.

A short bio


  • A Simple Method for Writing Words to Music - Writing your lyrics to a rhythm is important if you don't want your songs sounding wordy. In this video we'll look at how to write rhythmic lyrics effectively.
  • Why Using a Rhyming Dictionary Will Make You a Better Lyricist - A lot of songwriters consider the use of a rhyming dictionary to make them less creative, but in this video we'll look at how it can greatly benefit your lyrics.
  • 3 Things to Know for Writing Captivating Melodies - Since melodies are so important to a great song, in this video we'll look at three things to know for writing melodies that will captivate your audiences.
  • The Fastest Way to Create Engaging Melodies - Melodies can be considered the most important aspect of your song since they're what attract listeners from the start. So in this video, we'll look at the fastest way for you to create engaging melodies.
  • A Songwriting Trick from a #1 Elvis Song That Has Nothing to Do With Lyrics, Melodies or Chords - This video will show you a simple technique used in an Elvis song that will help your recording match your song's meaning.
  • Are You Writing Bad Songs? - Are you writing bad songs? In this video, we'll look at why you should (as crazy as that sounds)...
  • 3 Quick Techniques for Memorable Lyrics That Attract Listeners - This video will show you 3 ideas you can use right away for writing memorable lyrics.
  • How to Write a Memorable Melody: When in Doubt, Make No Sense - Your music has to be marketable if your goal is to get it heard by the masses.  There are a lot of standard tools you can use to help increase the marketability of your music, but here I want to talk about a pretty simple one you can get started with right away.
  • The Most Common Song Structures and Why It's Important to Know How They Work - Think of the most common types of song structures as universally agreed upon roadmaps for your songs. They tell us where the song is going. In this article, we'll talk about how to use song structure effectively.
  • Contrasting Your Sections, as Done by Judy Garland - One of my favorite concepts in songwriting is writing contrasting sections. In other words, what you can do to make your verse sound different from your chorus and your bridge. Writing contrasting sections is too often ignored by aspiring songwriters, but it’s so crucial to writing a song that people want to hear.
  • Using An Effective Opening Line, as Done by the Counting Crows - A great lyrical introduction is an excellent way to get your listeners interested in your story right off that bat. Let's look at a great example of a strong opening line in this article.
  • Effectively Tying Lyrics to Music as Done By Carole King - I always love a great example of a strong use of prosody in a song. When the words and the music work together towards the same idea, you can create some really magical musical moments. In this article, we'll look at a great example of this with a Carole King song.
  • Making Cliché Metaphors New Again, As Done By the Script - Some metaphors are so good, they end up being overused by everyone. As a result, they lose their meaning. In this article, we'll look at how to put a new twist on an overused classic.
  • Building a Solid Song, as Done by Jason Mraz - There are certain things that can contribute to making a great song. In this article, I want to look at a few of those things, while examining the song “I Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz.
  • Speeding Up A Melody, As Done By Gwen Stefani - Occasionally, it's appropriate for your melody and lyrics to sound sped up within your song. Maybe you want more contrast in your song, or maybe your lyrics deal with the idea of speed, or quickness and you want to incorporate prosody into your work, so your music will match what your lyrics are saying. Whichever the case, what we'll talk about here will be an easy way to have your melody sound faster, without having to alter your tempo.
  • Making Your Listeners Want to Hear Your Song Again, as Done by Queen - One thing we all songwriters want is for people to want to hear our music. And not just hear our music, but we want them to be listening to it over and over again. The best way to have that happen is to have a really catchy hook. But there are other little things you can do, to maximize the impact your song has on your fans. We'll look at one of them, in this article.
  • Using Contrast Between Verse and Chorus, as Done by R.E.M. - Using contrast between your verses and choruses as a way to get them to sound different from one another, is a great way to keep your songs interesting. In this article, we'll see how R.E.M. did that, while having the meaning of their lyrics tie into that contrast to really ramp up their song’s ideas.
  • Using Rhyme as an Accelerator, as Done by Neil Young - Rhyme can be an incredibly powerful tool for tying the meaning of your words to your music. One way to do this is to use rhyme as an accelerator.We'll look at how Neil Young has made use of this concept in the song "Heart of Gold."
  • Using Emotion in Singing, as Done by Foo Fighters - During a vocal performance it’s so important fuse emotion with the lyrics. Injecting emotion into the lyrics of a song is possibly THE most important job a singer has. The vocal delivery and the words in the song, can’t be separated if you want an effective vocal performance. In this article, we'll take a look at how Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters does a great job of applying this concept.
  • Using Ambiguous Lyrics, as Done by Kings of Leon - Great lyrics can be sneaky. They can have you thinking one thing, when the whole time they’ve been two-faced and have been implying something else. Writing ambiguous lyrics in this way can be a great way to make what you're saying interesting to your listeners. In this article, we'll take a look at how Kings of Leon effectively used this technique.
  • Making a Cliche Phrase New Again, as Done by Regina Spektor - The idea of "heartbreak" on songwriting has been used a lot. It's a cool metaphor, but it’s basically lost its coolness due to overuse. In this article, I want to show you how heartbreak can be made fresh again by how the phrase is handled musically.
  • Designing With Rhyme as Done by Sting and John Mayer - There are many different ways to use rhyme as a strategy to enhance what your lyrics mean. In this article, I want to show you how you can use rhyme to group similar ideas within your lyrics.
  • A Clever OneRepublic Melody Writing Example - This video outlines a kind of weird, but very practical way to write melodies, as used by OneRepublic.
  • An Easy Technique You Learned in Grade School for Writing Memorable Lyrics - In this video we take a look at a simple technique you're probably already aware of. It'll help you make your lyrics much more memorable. 

A short bio:

Download Anthony's free songwriting report here: http://successforyoursongs.com/freeoffer/

Anthony Ceseri is a songwriter and performer who has traveled the country in pursuit of the best songwriting advice and information available. From classes and workshops at Berklee College of Music in Boston, to Taxi’s Road Rally in Los Angeles, Anthony has learned from the most well-respected professional songwriters, producers and performers in the industry. As a result of the information he’s compiled, he founded http://www.SuccessForYourSongs.com, a website dedicated to the growth and development of songwriters of all skill levels. Anthony's writings appear as examples in the book Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises For Finding Your Voice by Pat Pattison, an acclaimed lyric writing professor at Berklee College of Music.

Back to top

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement