Make your Accent More American with Vintage Rock-n-Roll!

By singing along to songs, you can master three of the most important sounds in the Standard American Accent: the short "a," the "r" and the short "o." Not only is singing a very effective way to improve your pronunciation - it’s fun!

Why Singing?

Singing is a great way to practice pronunciation. When you sing, you open your mouth more than when you speak, and you often hold the position for longer. This helps you feel how you make the sound you want and increases muscle strength and memory. If you sing along with a recording, you get to compare your voice to the singers. Plus, if you can get the song “stuck in your head” you will have an auditory reference in your brain. Then when you try to speak a sound, you can remember the song, and you are more likely to produce the right sound. If I want to say the word “chance” like an American, I can think of the word “yeah,” like the Beatles sing, “she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah….” great! Now put that "eah" in the middle of the word, open your mouth, chaaaaance. And there you haaaave it!
Besides, haven’t you noticed that Americans open their mouths a lot when they talk!? So to be more like them, open your mouth — and sing! Here are three songs that will help you with three sounds that are essential in a Standard American Accent.

The Short “a,” She Loves You - The Beatles



What!? The Beatles aren't even American! Yes, but when they first started out, they were imitating American rock and roll musicians, so their vowels sounded particularly American. Only later did they bring their British - and Liverpool - accents back into their music. This is a great song to use because it is so popular, and because the short “a” sound is held out so long.


How to make the short "a"


The short "a" is the sound that starts the word "apple." To make the short “a” sound, you will open your mouth in a smile and drop your jaw. You’ll tense up the back of your throat, which is where the sound comes from. And your tongue will be forward, very close to your front bottom teeth. Here’s a link to some more information about this sound from one of my favorite pronunciation sites:
https://pronuncian.com/pronounce-short-a
So where is the short “a”? here are the lyrics with the sound marked in bold:
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You think you lost your love,
When I saw her yesterday.
It's you she's thinking of
And she told me what to say.
She says she loves you
And you know that can't be bad.
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad.
She said you were to know
That she almost lost her mind.
And now she says she knows
You're not the hurting kind.
She says she loves you
And you know that can't be bad.
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad. ooh!
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad.
You know it's up to you
I think it's only fair
Pride can hurt you too
Apologize to her
She says she loves you
And you know that can't be bad.
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad. ooh!
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad.
Now that you've worked on this sound, here are other words you can practice with it. https://pronuncian.com/short-a-practice This whole song is worth learning and singing for several other American sounds: the long "a" in yesterday and say, and the long "i" in kind and mind. But watch out! To sound American, don't imitate the "r" sound in her, which is very British. Instead look below and work on your American "r"s with Johnny Cash.

The American “r,” Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash



Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was a very famous and influential musician. He came from the Southern U.S. and his music mixed country, rock, blues and gospel music. This is one of Johnny Cash's most famous songs, and it's an amazing example of the American "r".

How to make the American "r"


R is one of the most difficult sounds in English, and Americans make it even harder. Many people say that Americans "chew" their r's - they are made far back in the mouth. To make the “r” sound, you’ll need to pull your tongue back as far as you can. The tip of the tongue can either not touch anything, or it can roll back on the roof of the mouth. Your lips move into a loose “o” shape. Here’s a link to more information about the "r" sound: https://pronuncian.com/pronounce-r-sound When you are singing along with this, feel the extra vowel sound added which is an "ur" sound like in burn. Even in fire or desire or higher you'll still feel that "ur" sound: "fie - ur," deep in your throat. Here are the words with "r":
Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire
The ring of fireI
I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire,
the ring of fire
The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire
The ring of fireI
Now that you feel that "ur" sound, here are some other words to practice. https://pronuncian.com/schwar but any word with "r" will be improved. Learning all of this song will be very beneficial to your American Accent. The low relaxed placement of the sounds and vowels is very American. Listen for the long "o" in down and the long "i" in child and wild. Another great sound in this to learn is the "ng" sound in ring - it's cut off a little in burning (burnin') but you hear it clearly in the chorus ring of fire.

The short “o” Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and the Comets



Bill Haley and his band, the Comets, recorded this song in 1954 and it was a huge hit. This was not the first successful rock-n-roll song, but it was the song that brought rock-n-roll to a popular audience more than any other. There are a lot of lyrics in this song, and I don't think you need to learn them all. We'll focus on the chorus where the short "o" sound is featured.

How to make the short "o"


To make this sound you need an open and relaxed throat. Your tongue will be forward, touching your front teeth. Open your mouth, slightly round your lips, and push down on the back of your tongue for this sound, which will also sound like "aw." It's a very short sound, and that is very obvious in this song. Here's a link to more information about this sound: https://pronuncian.com/pronounce-short-o

Here's where it is in the song:

One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock rock Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock rock. Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock rock We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
Put your glad rags on and join me hon' We'll have some fun when the clock strikes one. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
When the clock strikes two, three and four If the band slows down we'll yell for more. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
When the chimes ring five, six, and seven We'll be right in seventh heaven. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
When it's eight, nine, ten, eleven too I'll be goin' strong and so will you. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
When the clock strikes twelve we'll cool off then Start rockin' 'round the clock again. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.
Here's a link to other words you can practice now that you're learned this sound: https://pronuncian.com/short-o-practice The other great American sound to practice in this song is the reduction gonna which you hear in the chorus also.

Don't stop here - keep singing!

Singing American songs is a great way to improve your accent, so keep going! The more American songs you learn, the better your pronunciation will get! If you want help with more sounds, or ideas for more songs, please let me know in the comments, or send me a message. I'd love to hear from you!
2019年11月27日
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Jenny Christofferson

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美国
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Hello! I’m a specialist in American English speaking skills; an accent trainer and language coach. I help my clients communicate with more clarity, confidence and impact. I offer both accent training, and language coaching; depending on your needs. My specialty is supporting professionals who must make a sudden jump in their English skills; whether that is because of a new job or an upcoming presentation, interview or conference. I have many years experience as an educator, and I am skilled at teaching speaking, writing and academic skills. Together we will create and implement a strategic plan for success. Plans with clients typically include: -Identifying the most important things to improve in your speech to sound more clear and authoritative; perhaps grammar mistakes, pronunciation issues or confidence -Improving the clarity of your speech; learning American english sounds and speech rhythms -Preparation and support for real time English events in meetings, webinars, presentations etc. -Developing vocabulary to help express yourself better in professional, personal, and small talk situations -Writing instruction to help you easily answer emails, write reports, blog posts and articles -Editing support to help you keep up with writing tasks -Speaking training including work on delivery, voice quality and creating an effective message -Developing your own “voice” in English - creative writing, storytelling, executive presence I have published many articles on Verbling about these and other topics; some are on my profile so please give them a look if you are curious about my approach. Please write me if you have any questions or sign up for a free half hour lesson and we can discuss how to make a plan for you to achieve your goals. I look forward to hearing from you!
Flag
英语
globe
美国
time
1.740
:
西班牙语
C1
,
法语
A2
Hello! I’m a specialist in American English speaking skills; an accent trainer and language coach. I help my clients communicate with more clarity, confidence and impact. I offer both accent training, and language coaching; depending on your needs. My specialty is supporting professionals who must make a sudden jump in their English skills; whether that is because of a new job or an upcoming presentation, interview or conference. I have many years experience as an educator, and I am skilled at teaching speaking, writing and academic skills. Together we will create and implement a strategic plan for success. Plans with clients typically include: -Identifying the most important things to improve in your speech to sound more clear and authoritative; perhaps grammar mistakes, pronunciation issues or confidence -Improving the clarity of your speech; learning American english sounds and speech rhythms -Preparation and support for real time English events in meetings, webinars, presentations etc. -Developing vocabulary to help express yourself better in professional, personal, and small talk situations -Writing instruction to help you easily answer emails, write reports, blog posts and articles -Editing support to help you keep up with writing tasks -Speaking training including work on delivery, voice quality and creating an effective message -Developing your own “voice” in English - creative writing, storytelling, executive presence I have published many articles on Verbling about these and other topics; some are on my profile so please give them a look if you are curious about my approach. Please write me if you have any questions or sign up for a free half hour lesson and we can discuss how to make a plan for you to achieve your goals. I look forward to hearing from you!