On Songwriting | Musings On How To Write a Song

Anthony Ceseri On Songwriting

Anthony Ceseri On Songwriting

Anthony Ceseri is a songwriter, performer, and publisher of an online magazine for songwriters called Success For Your Songs. He is also the author of an eBook titled “How To Write Songs That Sell” that compiles the knowledge he’s gathered from professional songwriters, producers and some of the most well-respected performers in the industry.

Anthony’s writings also appear as examples in the book [easyazon-link asin=”1599632977″ locale=”us”]Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice[/easyazon-link] by Pat Pattison, an acclaimed lyric writing professor at Berklee College of Music.

Rick:

You’ve invested considerable effort in the pursuit of the best songwriting advice and information available. What has been your goal and overall vision for doing all that work?

Anthony:

My goal has been to go through everything I’ve learned and applied, extract the very best stuff and provide it to other songwriters. When I first started writing songs, I didn’t even know you could learn about the craft, so now that I’ve got some good methods down, I like to get them out there to the other writers that don’t know about them yet.

Anthony Ceseri performs at the Stone Pony, May 2011

Anthony Ceseri performs at the Stone Pony, May 2011

Rick:

In discussing your eBook “How to Write Songs That Sell,” you’ve said “As I started to learn more and more about songwriting, I developed the ability to see what made successful songs work so well, while other songs didn’t. It became almost instantaneous when I listened to a new song.” Is that a skill that others can develop?

anthony-cesari-on-songwriting3Anthony:

Absolutely! I believe anyone can develop any skill they want to. It’s simply a matter of drive and persistence. Drive being the fuel that will power you on and make you want to learn, and persistence will keep you going when you hit roadblocks. If you’ve got that (and most songwriters I’ve met do), then you can acquire just about any skill you want to develop. Natural talent on its own (while important) will only get you so far if it’s not tweaked and developed along the way.

Rick:

Where, in your opinion, do good original songs come from?

Anthony:

A single good song can come from anywhere. A personal experience, studying another good song, or just random inspiration can certainly accomplish a good song. But I think more important than that is being able to consistently develop good original songs. That’s something that won’t be as random. You’ll really have to hone in on what works and know what doesn’t. That’s where both having experience as a songwriter (by simply writing A LOT, good or bad) and being educated as a songwriter (by learning actual songwriting methods and ideas — whether or not you actually use them) come into play.

Rick:

What is your own process for writing songs?

Anthony:

Lately, I’ll typically be inspired by a chord progression I’ll come up with. After that I’ll experiment with a few melodic ideas over top of that before figuring out the structure of the song and then finally I’ll add the lyrics.

Rick:

What’s typically the easiest part of writing a song for you? What’s the hardest part?

Anthony:

For me, the easiest part is coming up with a melody. It tends to come to me almost automatically with a chord progression. Lyrics are definitely the hardest. 90% of my time writing a song is on the lyrics, because I labor over them so much, wanting to make sure they’re delivering what I’m trying to say in an interesting way.

Rock on Radio interview with Anthony Ceseri, December 2011

Rock on Radio interview with Anthony Ceseri, December 2011

Rick:

What are the most important considerations you’ve learned regarding the process of marketing original music?

Anthony:

It’s not about you, it’s about the fans! I can’t stress that enough. So many songwriters go all over the web saying things like “check out our stuff and let us know what you think,” without thinking about the experience the person who’s reading that is feeling. Instead, I think it’s really important to give potential fans a reason to want to hear you, by providing content and building trust with them, as opposed to constantly telling them to check you out.

Rick:

What are top takeaways that songwriters can expect to absorb as a result of reading “How to Write Songs That Sell?”

Anthony:

They’ll be able to come up with strong melodies, lyrics, song ideas and chord progressions when they want to write them. They won’t have to rely on inspiration hitting, or a strong emotion they happen to be feeling in the moment. They’ll just know how to put together a song, every time.

By Anthony Ceseri:

about

How To Write Songs That Sell

One Comment

  1. Hi Anthony, we know each other a bit thru twitter…I just wrote you some lines there…but it’s too public…I came across this website and got interested reading more about you. I have less troubles writing lyrics than creating melodies, well to be honest, I really haven’t tried ‘coz I don’t read notes quite well anymore…school days yes…maybe we can collaborate. Give me a word or a title which pops up in your mind upon reading this, you can check how I write. To be honest I’m an amateur, I just started since Nov., didn’t know that I have this capability, only knew that my grandma used to write poems and could sing…Let me hear from you. You can drop me some lines with your email…twitter is too vague and public….i get lost in this social community…. 😉 take care…Cocoy McCoy (that’s me too!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *