This paper presents a new method for selecting the sinusoids in a hybrid audio signal model consisting of sinusoidal, transient, and noise (STN) components. The method relies on a new methodology for ranking and selection of the most perceptually relevant sinusoids. We call this method Excitation Similarity Weighting (ESW) ranking and selection procedure. Whereas current coders tend to choose maximum signal-to-mask ratio components the ESW methodology seeks to maximize the matching between the excitation patterns evoked by the coded and original signals on a short-time basis. It is shown that the proposed method provides a perceptual improvement.