The RP accent is one of the most sought-after accents by those in the acting and narration community. Despite the fact that the UK and US share the same language, the RP accent can be a struggle for some.
The main difference between General American English and Received Pronunciation are as follows:
General American is rhotic while Received Pronunciation is non-rhotic.
In General American English, the jaw tends to be slack, whereas with Received Pronunciation the lips tend to be more rounded. In addition to rhoticity, General American tends to exhibit flex in the tongue even with non-rhotic sounds. These are the most prominent differences between the two accents.
To adapt to these changes, one should train the articulators so as to avoid slack in the jaw and flex in the tongue. For some, this can be extremely challenging. This can be accomplished by starting with the basic phonemes. Practice the individual vowel sounds one by one while focusing on the correct form. This will help develop our muscle memory. Once we are comfortable repeating the different phonemes, we should practice repeating lists of single-syllable words containing the same vowel sound.
However, pronunciation is really just the start. Once we are able to master the pronunciation, we can adapt our speech to give it natural rhythm and intonation. In my experience accent coaches who are not native speakers of RP often teach an outdated caricatured version of the RP accent. We tend to hear an over-exaggerated up-and-down melody in which every single consonant sound is overly enunciated. Natural speakers of modern RP tend to connect sounds more seamlessly.
The variations of the RP accent go beyond pronunciation. This is why it's important to adjust your speech depending on the personality that you want to portray. Visit the links below for examples and try and compare the different speakers:
Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation: private_tuition@ receivedpronunciation.com (Please remove the space after the @ sign.)