About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses



This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. Thank you.


This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussion are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here are talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.


A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names.

Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Larynx Position/High Larynx/Low Larynx/Neutral Larynx
The larynx is the part of the body where the vocal cords are located. The vocal cords are very small and are divided into two parts that vibrate against one another in order to create sound. The speed of the vibration generally determines the pitch someone sings in. Much like tuning a guitar, the more stretched the vocal cords are and thinner they become, the higher the pitch and the thicker they are, the lower the pitch is. In order for a note to be hit, one should have a relaxed opened sound in the larynx, without any restrictions from the throat muscles. If the larynx is pushed down, it creates a froggy and fake “soulful” tone, if it’s pulled up, it creates a thinner, squeezed and tight quality to the voice. The natural state of the larynx is being neutral when it’s relaxed, if it’s forced either up or down, that means the muscles in the throat are creating tension and the larynx is trying to reposition itself in an uncomfortable and unnatural position to hit notes that are not within the individual’s supported range. 

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound may still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present. Resonance is produced when the vocalist is able to support their voice. In other words, they have developed vocal cords that are able to connect fully in a healthy manner, without breathiness coming between them nor too much constriction, against the right amount of air pressure. Then the supported sound is enhanced with the proper placement of sound, while keeping the soft palate lifted, the larynx position not high, the swallowing muscles, jaw, tongue And throat relaxed and the jaw dropped so as to amplify the sound of the voice. The combination of an open throat, support, relaxed singing and proper placement is what creates healthy resonance in singing.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Luna, is able to keep resonance consistently up until Eb5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

Passaggi/Vocal Bridges
A passaggio or a vocal bridge is an area of the voice where one’s voices transition naturally from one to the other in the modal register. Usually for males, the distance between the first passaggio, from chest voice to mixed voice, and the second passaggio, from mixed voice to head voice, is only about a 4th apart, whereas for females it’s about an octave apart. Passaggi are important for one to be able to tell what someone’s voice type is. A register break or the highest note you can sing in your chest/mixed voice before transitioning into head voice is NOT your first passaggio. The first passaggio is a note in your range where your voice naturally feels a switch of muscle coordination in your vocal cords. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a chest dominant or balanced mixed voice above your first or even second passaggio. Lyric tenors usually have their passaggi around D4/Eb4 and G4/Ab4, whereas lyric baritones have their passaggi at B3 and E4. Lyric sopranos are usually at F4/F#4 and F5/F#5.

A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.


Excellent Vocalist

  • All three registers are developed
  • Supported as close as possible from their highest to lowest extremities
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within C3 ~ E3 (or lower) and G5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Bb2 ~ D3 (or lower) and F5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within F#2 ~ A2 (or lower) and C5/C#5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within D2 ~ F#2 (or lower) and A4/Bb4 (or higher)
  • Within their Voice Type’s tessitura they are consistently resonant
  • Complete support in the middle register and lower register
  • For females head voice must be completely resonant at will; for males head voice must be completely supported
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks when transitions are being made
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual note, potentially very complex runs are done from the bottom to the top of their ranges
  • Musicianship the ability to change a song and make it their own and Musicality having complete control over the voice in any given genre
  • Almost perfect intonation
  • Tonality is almost never lost


  • Developed registers, but one register may be lacking in development
  • Optimal resonance is achieved on a regular basis
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F3/F#3 and F#5/G5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Eb3/E3 and E5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within A2/Bb2 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within F#2/G2 and G#4/A4
  • Support is present in all registers, but maybe not to their lowest and highest extremes
  • Within in their voice type’s tessitura they are resonant and well projected, but not as resonant and well projected as Excellent vocalist
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual notes
  • Great interpretation skills (Musicianship), but Musicality may not be as finely tuned as Excellent vocalist
  • Intonation is almost perfect
  • Tonality is almost never lost


  • One very well developed register or two well developed registers, with the others either being Average or Above Average
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance, and above
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F#3/G3 and E5/F5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within E3/F3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Bb2/B2/C3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G2/G#2 and F#4/G4
  • Optimal resonance often present, but is not always achieved
  • Within their vocal type’s tessitura they are resonant and supported, but tonality can be lost at times.
  • Connection between registers is not always present
  • Some agility, but runs and transitions are not always controlled
  • Interpretation skills are present, has show musicality
  • Good intonation rarely goes off
  • At times can lose tonality by rarely does


  • One well developed or two/three somewhat developed register well balanced
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within G#3/A3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within F#3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and G#4/A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G#2/A2 and E4/F4
  • Consistently supported within their supported range
  • Resonates at times, but optimal resonance is not a regular occurrence
  • Connection between the registers is not present
  • Intonation is not perfect, off-key moments happen at times
  • Good tonality isn’t always kept, strain and tension are apparent at times

Above Average

  • One somewhat developed register with the others being average or weak
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with consistent support and possible resonance up to their second passaggio
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G3 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within D3 and G4/G#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within Bb2/B2 and Eb4/E4
  • Inconsistent with resonance
  • Even in their supported range strain and tension can be present
  • Nasality can be present within the voice at times
  • Intonation issues can be frequent


  • No register is developed considerably well
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within Bb3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G#3 and A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Eb3 and F4/F#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and C#4/D4
  • Inconsistent with support, and if at all resonance, even if occasional resonance has happened
  • Good tonality is not present at all times, nasal placement is normally used
  • Frequent intonation issues


  • No developed registers
  • Unable to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within B3 and G#4/A4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and F#4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within E3/F3 and Eb4/E4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C#3/D3 and B3/C4/C#4 (or less)
  • Very inconsistent with support, strain,no resonance
  • Good tonality is not present
  • Out off tune singing is frequent

FYI, Among K-POP idols there is NO ONE who is considered Excellent/Amazing/Fantastic vocal-wise. They are Great/Good at best.

For further question you can ask the contributors directly at this forum

OneHallyu vocals’ thread






9,822 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

    1. But you’re Chinese, so how is Korean better than English? There aren’t many Korean songs that I know that are good easy baritone songs. You can try Fools by Troye Sivan in English if that’s okay with you.


  1. I found a vocal analysis page on Facebook that rates singers by percentage and I was wondering if you agreed with any of them. Here’s a few of them but they seemed a little bit low to me.


      1. Ok thanks for the clarification. I’m not an expert by any means but I did find that they seemed off with their analyses. I even saw them rate some singers supported ranges even lower. I know some singers like Regine Velasquez aren’t top tier Vocalists but she has a decent supported range at least. I felt like them giving her a 60% Rating was really low.


      2. Honestly percentages are so wrong for singing. Descriptive words mean something but a percentage is just so.. what’s 100? Is there anything like 110? Is 100 perfect? It’s just a dangerous system.


    1. Like I said before, you have a lovely voice. I recommended this song as a baritone song and it sounds like it’s in a very comfortable range for you, which is good. But I’d much rather hear you singing vocal exercises to be able to help you practice. Singing songs on your own is okay, but it’s basically guessing. You need to have exercises that are working on a specific objective for your vocal cords and then bring that into songs. You sound like you have inconsistent support because of how you push, you’re not keeping the diaphragm expanded. You aren’t always keeping the diction clear but I believe it’s better than last time. You push air, you get a bit tight sometimes and sometimes lose the pitch. You are naturally gifted for singing so picking up on better vocal habits shouldn’t be hard for you but you have to make some changes on how you’ve been practicing. Vocal tips #8, how to support.


      1. A little bit surprised that you recommended Fools. The Pre-Chorus always bugs me because the original song always demands the high mixing/falsetto at “Tanqueray”. Somehow when I sing that song, I always have a feeling that I need to reinforce excessively my legato in the verses, especially in the lower, chestier notes. The hook is easy as a piece of cake though


  2. To what extend is a consider a “somewhat developed register”? What kind of requirement or development register has to be shown to consider a resister as developed?


    1. It depends on the quality of tone, the extent to which they support, the consistency of the support. For example, you could say Tiffany has a somewhat developed head voice with inconsistent support, whereas Younha has also a somewhat developed head voice with more consistent support. Neither of them are fully developed, not as much as let’s say Ailee or Shannon. Taeyeon has a more developed head voice than them, so it has to do with the tone quality produced, how high/low the support goes, the volume control, the ability to resonate in that register, the consistency of support. There are many factors that come into play that can’t be measured with numbers.


  3. Thank you sooooo much for your hard work! It’s much appreciated, I think what you’re doing is wonderful and not many people choose to do something like that for free just because they enjoy it and want to be helpful!


    1. Oh I’m so sorry! I saw your other comment just now and I’m not sure why I didn’t respond to it, when you sang in Cantonese! I’d rather hear how you’d sing if you did vocal exercises. I hear no real support, issues with diction and nasality, not much happening with the throat or soft palate and pitch issues all over both the other recording and this. Which is common and understandable if you’ve never had lessons! ^ ^ But I recommend exercises.


      1. Sure, thanks a lot. Trying to do Breath support exercise and hm and ning just in the 3rd and 4 th octave… Learning singing techniques is just the same thing as learning thing. It does requires time. Thanks for the suggestion


      2. Not to annoy you, but I shall record my vocal exercise next week. Just to space out things a little XD We all know you are working real hard to put out new analyses. (kpop fans are watching you)


  4. Hi. Could you help me a little bit?

    I’ve been having problems with my larynx recently. I can use my larynx in four different positions. The first one, is an obviously low larynx, the fake soulful tone. The second one, is a very neutral larynx, which starts not moving in low notes (precisely F2 to C3/C#3 but with almost no volume, can’t go lower), and as I go higher it starts “tilting” and moving up and down, but never only up. The third one is a slightly high larynx. It doesn’t keep “tilting”. It’s where I most sing, and although I think it’s not the right one, it literally doesn’t move, and stay in that almost-swallow position calm, not going higher even in higher notes. And yes, I have problems with volume even in higher notes with this third position. And I can’t make lower notes than A2/Bb2, my low notes stay very limited.

    And the fourth one is an obviously very high larynx. I never sing there.

    My trouble is with the second and third positions. I’ve been singing with the third position, like a slightly high larynx but not that much, and I think it’s not the right one. Even you said it should tilt. And I have problem with volume.
    But the thing is that, while the third position is a lot more light, singing with the second position (which I think it’s the right one) makes me feel… tension? I feel like I’m stuck in that position of the larynx, like I can’t be free or go beyond my neck (I don’t know how to describe it less stranger haha). And with the third position I feel a lot more free to go through my connected range. Mainly because I feel weird singing notes like F2 in the limit of my chest voice with no volume when my first passaggio is at around Eb4.

    If you could help me to know which one should I sing, I’d be glad.

    By the way, this problem goes to my speaking voice too. Unfortunately, I have the costume to always speak in that third position, which is why I came to have those problems. If you see my comments, there’s one in the Leo analysis which I said that I have similar problems with high larynx. My speaking voice has almost no volume, although it maintain the light quality of my voice. It’s because I’ve always been speaking like this (shy person…). And the thing is that it’s gonna be another “impact” in my singing, since it changes a lot. Like… the light way I used to sing before, if I sing in that more neutral, it becomes a little bit “manly”, and add a little bit of weight, even though I almost have none.

    Thanks for the attention 🙂


  5. Hey Ahmin, a late happy new year! 🙂 I hope you got enough time off to rest and do the things you want! Would you be able to take a listen to see how my exercises are progressing? Last time you told me to drop the jaw more and I’ve been trying to do that, but I don’t know if this is enough? To be honest I don’t feel I have improved with the ya-ya, it’s frustrating but I just can’t seem to feel the connection with that exercise when transitioning between notes. :/ I think ‘ba’ is getting better though since it’s now possible for me to make sound on notes that I couldn’t hit before-correct me if I’m wrong though!
    Also I had a go at trying the head voice exercises but it sounds…really bad compared to how I hear it in my head–I hope it doesn’t give you a headache listening to it hehe. What am I doing wrong, is it pushing too much air with not enough connection?


    1. Hi dear! Thank you and happy new year to you too! I have yet to really get proper rest but I’ve been resting to an extent. I could use some more rest and hopefully I’ll get some soon.

      Now my problem with the first exercise is that although the connection is beautiful and the projection much better, you’re constantly hitting D4 and C#4, back and forth, sliding kind of. But you were never singing the G4 or any notes you played, you were singing the same exact notes no matter what you played on the minute. Now the connection was good on D#4 and D4 for staccato notes, but it wasn’t the range you thought.

      Do you not hear that when you sing he Ya exercise, you sing Ya-ha-ha-ha, do you detect the H’s coming out? Not just when you sing but when you listen back. You’re not expanding the diaphragm enough. When you sustain notes, your breathing is a bit shallow so you kind of shake. Let the diaphragm do more work, let the rib cage expand more. Don’t be so nervous. Let’s do this, approach these Ya’s like you approach Ba’s. Start the exercise with a ba and then go ba-a-a-a. Because the way you approach your ba’s is pretty good and clean actually.

      The Ooh exercise in head voice isn’t bad, it sounds underdeveloped. So the notes are shaky and not strong, but the connection is good and so is the stretching, it’s just weak for now. You need to not hold your breath so much and let the airflow more naturally. Also try to again keep the rib cage expanded. Drop your jaw more too on the ooh’s. This isn’t bad, it’s just not developed. Loosen up the jaw and keep at it!


      1. Oh wow can’t believe I didn’t manage to notice that at all! Thanks a lot for all these tips, when I’m listening to the exercises back sometimes I hear the ya-ha-ha but other times, to me it’s less obvious and I am easily fooled into thinking it’s properly connected. And when I’m doing the exercise I have absolutely no clue, it’s only when I listen back that I can hope to tell haha! Attempting to approach the ya’s like ba’s with ribcage expanded hasn’t seemed to do much for me the last two days. When listening back I can often hear that there’s an unpleasant scratchy quality when transitioning. Is it because the cords are pushed together too tight now? I do feel that maybe the third one on the Bb3-C4 might be the better one?
        Thank you so much for your encouragement and patience, I’m just sorry that I’m so poor at following instructions!


      2. Oh see that’s okay! The scratchy quality in your singing that I’m hearing sounds slightly more like phlegm. You don’t have too many problems with, but it still sounds like you’re breathing up into your chest more so than not. It’s like you’re holding your breath and becoming very tight in your chest. The connection on the third one that you mentioned was quite nice actually. You’re still going Ha sometimes, you have to let go of the pressed tight way you’re approaching your breathing and relax more. You’re keeping the sound locked in your throat, like you’re literally out of breath. You have to let go of the tightness and open up your voice more, but that’s something that I feel typing isn’t going to solve…


  6. Hi Ahmin! Love your site and videos, they are so informative and detailed. Really appreciated!

    I sang a short cover of Hunter Hayes Invisible not long ago but couldn’t complete it because the other parts of the song were above my belting range. I took 3 months of vocal training and my voice teacher said my belting and breath support were the weakest parts of my vocal technique. She also said my voice was unpleasantly hollow and light. Could you give it a listen and tell me what you think?


    1. Hi dear! Thank you so much! I must say I agree with the things your instructor has said. Besides belting or breath support, I’d just point out that there are many issues that are a result of no support in your singing. At this point, you slide throughout notes a lot, without ever really being at the center of the pitch desired. You push quite a bit when you get higher, but in your mid-range you’re very breathy, your diction is lazy and unclear, and you’re not really expanding the diaphragm, nor connecting the vocal cords. It’s all issues that be fixed, but as a result of no support, your sound comes out as light, breathy, hollow, pitchy and tight throughout. I’d be interested to know how your instructor was addressing such issues.


      1. Hi Ahmin,

        Thanks for your feedback! My teacher encouraged me to sing scales while lip trilling and leaning forward. I was wondering if it could also be due to not being physically fit – I am moderately skinny with a bit of tummy fat but I could just be lazy with engaging the diaphragmatic muscles… Despite doing scales consistently every lesson, I fail to belt up to a G4 in chest voice and flip like a chicken up to a wimpy sounding G4. Currently, my consistent range is from E2 – F#4 with head voice up to E5 (F#5 shaky peak). I rarely use my falsetto and my teacher did not touch on it during the 3 months.

        An interesting note was that when my voice teacher first heard my voice, she compared it to a very androgynous-sounding Chinese singer called Sodagreen and said my voice was similar albeit sounding quite a bit lighter and brighter (I’m 17) due to my age I reckon..


      2. No, your body proportions wouldn’t affect your ability or inability to sing with basic support or to sing with diction. I think it’s the lack of actual engagement of proper support, it’s just not happening. Did you stop lessons?


  7. Happy New Year to you talented analysts! Firstly I apologise for the length. I’ve been a lurker here since 2015, and I absolutely love what you guys are doing! I’ve learnt so much and renewed my interest in singing and music from the analyses here (never took any singing lessons sadly, but enjoyed school choirs and used to play piano/attempt to compose music). I’ve showed them to a lot of people as examples of great technical writing. When I first got into k-pop I was surprised by how much ‘decent’ live singing was going on; I was never into pop music before but, to me, k-pop showed actual talent in an industry of ‘manufactured’ music because of the effort they put into performances. So I was (and still am) a fan of YG artists, but realised how despite the mostly live singing a lot of vocal issues were present.

    I feel that I can now ‘detect’, at least to an extent, some of the flaws in vocal technique whenever I hear live singing. I was a casual fan of musicals but lately have been getting back into them as I’ve seen that you refer to idols’ performances in musicals as examples of where their vocal technique has improved (e.g. SNSD’s Seohyun). Is this due to the fact that there is a different ‘style’ of singing for musical theatre, or are they just taking more vocal lessons from a vocal trainer to prepare for the role, fixing some of their current issues in the process?

    I know you only answer questions on k-pop but I wondered if you’d heard that a South Korean production of Bare: The Musical is currently showing, and was showing in SK in 2015/16/17, something I was quite surprised to hear. Clips have been posted on YouTube. I’d watched the 2014 US version on YT, and very much enjoyed the quality of the singing, though the most obvious vocal issue to my untrained ear seemed to be strain. I admire musical theatre artists so much as they’re acting and singing at the same time, which I suppose is natural when singing emotional songs but is probably quite hard work, not to mention the dancing. I wondered if you would be interested in giving me your thoughts on this performance?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFgqdgDxmis From about 2:21. I’m curious about the technique of this vocalist, whose performance has honestly moved me to tears: are there any obvious issues present here, and what are his strengths in this part specifically? I’m also curious about the technique of another vocalist singing the same song, at the same part. To me, he seems to be having less difficulty, though it may be because the audio is slightly better in this video:

    (From about 2:27)

    I’m obviously not an expert and know zilch compared to you guys, but I think the second vocalist is quite skilled (of course both are in their own ways). In another performance of his, a very interesting one dynamically, I’d like to ask about the use of technique in this part. I’m struck by the dynamics of the composition itself, which I find to be immensely moving, but I’m curious as to how he is using his voice/vocal technique to create this mood? I think it’s more than just injecting emotion into his voice through skilled acting, but I don’t know enough to tell.

    The whole song is absolutely brilliant, and I’m curious about all of it technically, but especially the part from 2:21 to 3:30 in terms of dynamics. There are so many Italian terms describing dynamic changes in volume, crescendo, mezzo-forte, messa di voce, but I suppose they’re mainly used to describe operatic singing and score composition? I don’t think you guys discuss dynamics much – correct me if I’m wrong on this. It’s something I’m very interested in but I know it’s not a primary technical issue to be discussed, as it should be used to compliment an already well developed voice.

    It’s a tall order to ask you exactly how he uses his voice, but I wish I could describe what he’s doing somewhat technically. I have a relative who dabbles in singing (he’s mainly a songwriter) and I really want to show him this video, as I’ve shown him a lot of proficient/good/great k-pop singers already (Taemin, our beautiful and talented angel Jonghyun, Taeyeon, Kyuhyun, SoHyang). Even if you can’t look at it, I hope you check out the performances from the musical on YT if you haven’t already as I think you guys would enjoy them. I was so shocked and happy that South Korea did a production of this musical, as it’s so controversial there, and I commend the artists who worked on it. If you guys know who they are, I’d be grateful to find out! Thank you so much and best wishes for 2018.


    1. Hi there! It’s alright, I truly appreciate lengthy comments and especially the support and trust you’ve put into us! Not only showing us off haha but also keeping up with us since 2015! That’s amazing and we are really thankful!

      I believe that I can only guess at this point for the musicals question. I can’t say if they’ve taken lessons or if they actively seek out lessons for musical roles, but I do know that because the genre requires cleaner singing, if you will, it gives vocalists more of a chance to employ better technique. Now musical singing isn’t automatically good vocal technique singing. Many musical vocalists are quite chesty and shouty, but overall it does require better stamina, better connection and projection. Most musical songs can’t be sung with nasal, breathy high larynxed singing like pop songs can due to the nature of the genre. Now that doesn’t mean they automatically improve in musicals.

      In Korea, I’ve noticed that many musical vocalists aren’t just shouty like American ones. (I’m speaking from watching a lot of videos from the Broadway Princess Party videos on youtube lol) American ones tend to be supported but pushy. Now Korean ones often are completely unsupported. I listened to the whole production of Mama Mia, the Korean version, and personally I don’t think even one of those vocalists used proper support to sing at all. They all seemed to be all in their throats. Now there are many good musical vocalists in Korea, but it seems to be a less explored option for vocalists so perhaps they’re not as strict? I’m not sure.

      Now this vocalist you’re showing me. The first one, he seems to engage better support when singing but sometimes drops it. He’s not shallow all over, but he drops support a bit too often. 2:15 2:25 drops of support and flat notes. 2:32 He seems to be more in his throat than not around F4 and G4. 2:48 Like here, there’s no support. His vocal cords don’t sound fully developed to handle those G4’s and he’s not attempting to mix them, he’s pushing from the throat.

      Now the second vocalist. Wait, is this a gay musical? Oh my god, I love it. LOL This second guy is placing his sound better, and using better support overall but I still hear his larynx going up on the G4’s. Now it’s a lot less obvious than for the other guy but it’s happening here as well. Now the thing is this isn’t a musical song like most where the songs get really intense and then die down, this is slightly intense on some lines within the climax and then it goes down and back up really suddenly. So that’s mostly it, the emotional aspect you might be feeling is from that push and pull of dynamics happening throughout the climax.

      Park Ganghyun, the 2016 guy, he has a lot better support than the 2017 guy and he doesn’t drop support as often but he starts pushing around F4 and G4. It gets really intense and he squeezes his throat. Wow this is a song about coming out, in Korean. I am shocked that Korea has allowed this drama to exist and I love it. 1:36 some pushing on these F#4’s, but nice placement for sure. 2:20 ~ 2:30 G#4 was the highest, very little tension, he was approaching it better. So instead of drops of support like the other vocalist, he has issues of pushing and compressing more than he needs to, here and there.

      We do describe dynamics in our analyses but I personally refuse to use terms like “He sang a G#4 in mezzo-piano” because dynamics in music are subjective to each piece. So if you sing a song, a forte in that song might not be the same forte as it would be in another song. It’s all subjective to how the vocalist is singing. Dynamics aren’t a specific volume universally used in TV’s or something. It’s not like mezzo-forte is always a 6 and mezzo-piano always a 4. It depends, which is why it’s more of a performance breakdown than something we can include in an overall analysis of a vocalist’s technique. So we touch upon it as general musicality.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you and I’m so thankful you showed me this. A gay musical in Korea, it’s absolutely mind-blowing and I’m in love with this idea. Thank you very much and I hope I was able to answer your questions well. You’re welcome to ask more if I’m still not clear enough! ^ ^


      1. Oh interesting, I never watched Jenna Ushkowitz on this. I didn’t know she’d gone there. Jenna never struck me as a vocalist with strong support in Glee actually, she sounds better here but the support isn’t very strong as she goes up to 1:00 B4’s and A#4’s, I hear more throatiness than I’d like, not enough development in her vocal cords. She is trying to keep the support going, but there’s more tension in her throat than needed, especially C#5. 2:21 ~ 2:41 Same notes that I was pointing out before, 2:41 B4 that was just mostly throaty. It has nice reverb from the mic and she might have a bit of phlegm, but she lacks development in her mix, it lacks openness, more weight to give her more power, proper support isn’t always there. Yeah.


  8. Did y’all come up with these rankings solely from looking at singers in the industry, or did you think about your students and fellow singers as well? Basically, were they made with the general population of contemporary singers in mind?


    1. Actually at first, the ratings came from a group of us on a forum on a forum but they would call it different things like weak = bad, average = mediocre, above average = average/decent, there was no real proficient, good, great and excellent were all the same though. See now that didn’t make much sense to me, so I started incorporating proficient in between good and above average, and the more I looked at it, the more it seemed like the one octave of support in the mid-range fit the averagely trained vocalist in pop music in general. So after seeing that, also finding words that were less arrogant sounding, we felt this rating system made more sense. If you look at it, an octave of supported range with no resonance actually is what most vocalists have. Most vocalists do happen to be average vocalists, with a fair number in the above average rating too. What I didn’t count on was how many weak vocalists with little to no support there are, which made me wonder a few times if we should make weak the new average. lol


      1. Mostly but they can easily be applied to people I’ve been with in the industry. I avoid them with my students though as I find it counterproductive.


  9. Hello! What exactly is meant by a “balanced” mix? Does it mean that you’re always using the same amount of head and chest voice no matter what note you sing? (For example, you’re using 50/50 mix of head and chest for the notes G4 AND G5) Or does the amount of head and chest you need to use depend on how low/high the note is? (For example, you could be singing a high note that’s 70% head and 30% chest, but it’s still considered “balanced” because of how high the note is)


    1. Your tongue is tense and not touching the tip of your bottom front teeth. You’re also not dropping your jaw enough and your lips aren’t forward, so the tension is staying in your throat. You’re also squeezing too much. You should probably use a keyboard app or something to help you with the pitch and you should focus on singing lower than that. You started too high, you could even start as low as E4 and not go this high.


      1. Thanks for the pointing out the things that I need to improve. Sometimes I will my finger on my back of the jaw, just to ensure it drops. And for the tongue, IDK I always bite my tongue and injure my tongue, seemingly I am just a bit scare of putting back of front teeth will injure it. Still trying to breaking away this habit (eye rolling myself)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi,

    Just few hours ago NCT’s Vocal Line released a station. I just want to know how they generally did. If there’s something new from them.

    Ps. Even tho I already said that I want to thank you again for everything. Because of you I was able to realize how my favorite vocalist are really doing and that help me prove that sometimes I was wrong and there is a lot that I still have to learn 🙂


    1. Hi dear and thank you so much! Someone asked about this with a few time stamps so I’ll copy-paste:

      “In the beginning yknow Doyoung doesn’t sound bad down to C#3, he’s doing the stylistic breathy thing but it’s okay for now. Jaehyun is supporting but he lost a bit of support around 0:33, but it could all be stylistic. They’re both relaxed and supporting, but then as soon as Doyoung comes back he is using far too much breathiness and not connecting enough so even though the support is pretty good, the stretch of his vocal cords is a bit lazy. 1:03 Taeil is phrasing quite a few G#4’s, none of them are supported. They’re all pretty tight. 1:12 that Ah vowel could’ve been much more opened, he is not dropping his jaw. 1:24 Bb4 down to G#4, pretty tight. He is not shaping his throat well enough for these higher parts. 1:40 C#3 for Jaehyun, he has no issues down there when it comes to how comfortable it is for him to hit these notes but he needs to connect more, at least in a different context. 1:59 That phrased G#4 for Doyoung was pretty light and not badly approached, I’m impressed by it. 2:18 That F#4 could’ve been much more opened for Taeil, then the G#4 was very tight. 2:21 Doyoung sounds thinner when he sings lighter, his larynx is high and he is more shallow. Taeil connects better and stretches his vocal cords better but he lacks in openness. Doyoung is a bit more on the shallow less stretched side when singing this guy and he is also thin and tight. 3:08 Jaehyun becomes kind of tight and shallow around F4, which is high for him. 3:14 Their harmonies sound really pretty actually. The high note at 3:17, high larynx and strained, was a C#5. So no, I don’t resonance nor openness from Taeil in this video. He is tighter than usual actually even on F#4, or at least his tightness was more obvious to me.”


      1. Hey so i’ve noticed this three seem to be weaker than exos vocal line, but i know exos vocal line didn’t start at the level of vocal technique they have now, so i was wondering how much weaker (if it is weaker) their vocal technique is compared to exo when they had just debuted


  11. I got curious, what rating would you give a singer with a limited supported mix but has a really strong head voice for example let’s say a soprano that could support F3-B4-E6. I was wondering how much one really well developed register would help them.


    1. If it’s me well depend on the other factors too like maybe can she make resonance, about the nasality, pitch, or so on. But maybe Average to Above Average or Above Average bcs of the head voice and low notes


  12. Hi! I want to fix the airiness in my voice and incorporate more chest voice in my singing 🙂 Would doing the ya exercise in my chest voice strengthen my chest voice “muscles”? I sing primarily in a head-dominant mix and I’m not really sure how to achieve a more balanced mix. Also, I was wondering if this video was accurate and if I could use these exercises to fix my airiness: https://youtu.be/T99xgK8MpXM . Thank you so much for your hard work!!


    1. Yes, in theory it should as long as you’re executing the exercise correctly. He seems like a Speech Level Singing instructor. If you do the exercise correctly, it should help but I am not a fan of doing exercises to a recorded track.


  13. I know that you are very busy. So ignore this comment if you want to. But I just wanted know your opinion about my..my…not really impressive cover.(And my throat did hurt little so that made is even worse. . . I feel bad for the singer/song writer.) Can you tell me what should I do to improve.
    And one more question..(You might or might not have heard this question before.) Can a persons vocal range decrease? I used to aim for very high notes before so I kept straining…and now I can’t even hit that notes anymore. I used to have around 2 octaves without falsetto but now my voice is just 3 octaves and around 1.5 octave of it thanks to falsetto….Is that possible?
    And also I have another question- Can breathing issues cause problems while singing?
    And this is …well a recording of my voice.(And I went off beat in the middle..)


  14. I don’t know if he’s been asked before but I would like to ask you guys some questions about Lee Habit. He’s a trainee under NH media (U-kiss’s and Laboum’s company). He started singing at 9:53 – 10.23

    and in this clip he started to sing at 1:40 – 1:52

    Is he a baritone? He sounds like a baritone to me. Can he fully support? I notice his vibrato is wobbly so he kinda have a problem with airflows.


  15. Hi ahmin, how are you doing? ^.^ I see jerry is pretty close to being analyzed so I thought I’d just compile all her cover videos. I realized I could just link the yt channels but Im writing this as I finished so whatever XD. Feel free to take your time, there isn’t really a lot of videos, but I hope it’s enough for an analysis *praying*

    (I only did this in order of year, not in months and days, so I apologize DX. I’m not sure if its important but she doesn’t seem to have changed drastically for me so im hoping its fine…)

    Let It Go

    Slow Motion

    Put Your Hands On Me

    Because Of You


    Girl On Fire

    National Anthem



    Saving All My Love

    Take A Bow

    Cry Me Out

    Don’t Know Why

    I will Always Love You

    Snow flower

    Phone Number

    IU good day

    U and I

    Mama Do

    Barbie Girl



    Run To You



    I Will Show You

    Bar Bar Bar

    Santy Claus


    She might have more videos on here http://www.yy.com/u/1373621046 but I probably already posted some of them


    Let It Go


    Chinese song




    And her yt channel has all her recent covers so I dont think i need to post them all
    They also have a radio broadcast as a group and 1 for jerry, but they’re like 7 hours in total, so I can skim it, but some of them don’t have good audio. Let me know if you want me to do that ^.^ Anyways, have a good weekend!


    1. Oh my god, this is amazing! Thank you so so much! This should definitely be more than enough, I’m very excited to analyze her as soon as I have some more free time! I think I was hoping to see something more from when she debuted but I can find that on my own! Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi, could you help me identify the key of this song:

    If there’s any key changes or modulation can you point them out.

    It doesn’t sound like E minor which is the original key, i think.

    I’m trying to rearrange the chords for a musical performance at my school


    1. The original key is E minor? As in Tom Jones’ key? Cause it sounds like it’s in C to me, with a degree of A minor maybe in the verse? Maybe it’s A minor. Either way this version is a tone up, so B minor or D major, same accidentals. The tonic seems to be B so I’d say B minor. This key is G minor: http://www.akbobada.com/musicDetail.html?musicID=30029
      3:59 modulation up a semitone, from B minor to C minor. It ended on C Minor.


    1. He sounds fuller not in a mature way but in a way that his upper belts sound much better than I’d expect in that range. This will be interesting when I analyze him.


      1. I said it will be interesting when I analyze him. It’s one single performance, that is hardly enough material for me to talk about consistent improvement. So just wait please~ ;3

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi, Ahmin! How have you been? I’ve been watching these youtube videos recently about how the larynx should be when singing. Even after watching a lot of videos I still can’t tell whether or not my larynx stays neutral when singing. Can you please point it out for me?
    I haven’t been singing much since the start of new year though because I had asthma, but I’m a bit better now. Sorry for always bothering you and as always, thank you so much for your help!


    1. 0:20 Your lower range sounds pretty nice here! I am very impressed! 0:48 This could be more open and more relaxed, but not bad at all! Your C5’s are not bad throughout, they could just be a bit more opened but you sound really REALLY good in this!


      1. Thank you so much! I was trying to hold an incoming cough on the “nokseulji andorok” part though so it sounded a bit awkward hahahaha. Should I wait for my cough to subside before I practice again or is it okay to practice with a cough?


      2. Got it. Thank you so much. Also, I just have to say, I can’t stop listening to your cover of Wildflower, it’s so beautiful!


      3. It did come out great! I hope you do more covers. Here’s hoping for a JongHyun – End of the Day cover or a Don’t worry, my dear by Jeon Inkwon cover. Ohhh there’s a lot I wanna list here but I don’t wanna pressure you or anything.


  18. Hi Ahmin! How are you? I know this is late but Happy New Year. Ummm… can you please help me to find where my passaggio is? Also, I want you to tell me what’s my problem and what do I do to improve my voice? I really like to sing but I couldn’t really stay on key or support a note. And I know that you need an audio to hear me sing but I don’t really know how to send it to this site. (Sorry for my English :))


  19. Hello I would just like to ask what is the best way for someone to expand their supported range? Would staying in a comfortable range help with expanding a person’s supported range or do they have to challenge themselves by going slightly higher or lower to expand their supported range?


  20. Hi Ahmin! When you sing nasal consonants, are you supposed to drop your soft palate? Or are you supposed to modify the consonant or keep it the way it is? My nasal consonants sound really weird when I focus on raising my soft palate, but maybe I’m not doing it right.


    1. The consonant can’t really be modified but the sound in singing isn’t transported through consonants, it’s transported through vowels. So it doesn’t quite matter what happens with your soft palate on the consonant as the sound is present mostly in the vowel, which is how the soft palate will move and adjust as you shape each note you sing.


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