Singing With An American Accent Versus Speaking With An American English Accent

Why you can sing with an American English accent, but it’s harder to speak with one?

Hi, it’s Ellen from Speak More Clearly! In this video, we’d like to talk about why it’s easier to sing automatically with an American accent than to speak automatically with an American English accent.

People can sing with different accents than their spoken accent, for several reasons:

1. Musical Influence with an American Accent

When people sing, they often mimic the style and pronunciation of the music they are singing along to. If the song has a distinct American English accent, singers may naturally adopt that accent to match the musical style. For example, the musical style of an American pop singer is different from an American country singer.

The key word here is mimic. Just as you mimic the American accent of an American singer, you also need to use the same skill to mimic exactly, the trainers in our American accent course. The more you do this, the quicker your speech will be clearer more automatically.

Now, sometimes students say, “But I feel like it sounds fake if I mimic the American accent when I speak!”

Maybe you’ve thought this? This is natural at first, but if you are mimicking exactly using American vowels and consonants, and rhythm and stress, it doesn’t sound fake to your listener. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel to you, just like the more you copy an American singer, the more comfortable you feel about singing the song exactly how they sing it.

2. Artistic Expression

Singers use their voices as instruments for artistic expression. They may intentionally modify their pronunciation or accent;

  • To convey emotions
  • Create a particular mood
  • Fit the song’s overall feel

This can lead to deviations from their natural speaking accent.

3. American English Singers often put an emphasis on Vowels

Singing typically emphasizes vowels, while consonants are less prominent 

A good example of this is the way Frank Sinatra sang his vowels. This can make it easier for you to modify your vowel sounds to match the accent you want to convey in the song. You can use this knowledge of how you are moving your mouth differently for vowels when you copy the American singer, To help you move your mouth the same way when you speak with an American accent.

This is where Speak More Clearly’s training comes in. Our course includes detailed training and practice for altering your pronunciation. Students can also choose to have one on one training with one of our expert trainers, which speeds up progress even more.

When we copy our favorite American singer we’re doing what professional singers do as well. Training, and practicing!

We sing the song so many times, that we make the American accent automatic.

Singers often interpret songs and lyrics in their own way. This interpretation can lead to accent adjustments that they believe enhance the song’s meaning or impact.

In contrast, when people speak in their day-to-day lives, they generally use their natural speaking accent, which is influenced by their:

  • Upbringing
  • Environment
  • Social interactions

Speaking with a different accent can be more challenging because it requires consistent effort, and may feel less authentic than adopting a different accent while singing, where artistic expression often takes precedence over maintaining one’s natural accent.

It’s worth noting that some individuals can also intentionally speak with a different accent if they have received training or have a particular reason to do so, such as actors preparing for a role. 

However, maintaining a different accent in speech often requires ongoing practice, and can be more challenging to sustain than a temporary alteration for singing. This is why we recommend that when learning a new accent or when practicing speaking more clearly, students make whatever part of an American accent they are working on, automatic, before choosing another pronunciation element to work on.  This means practicing the same thing over and over till it’s incorporated into your everyday speech before moving on.

A good place to start, just like we mentioned above, is mastering the American vowels first. 

This is a major element to sounding more American and speaking English clearly.

So maybe, while you’re practicing speaking with your new American accent you can recall how your favorite American singer sounds to help you, or even sing some of the practice sentences in our American accent course over and over to help you with your American accent!


If you found this article helpful, please share it with your families, friends, and colleagues.

For more practice materials for American English pronunciation, check this lesson on different types of American accents.

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