About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

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.

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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.

TERMINOLOGY

Tones/Semitones/Notes/Key
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.

Intonation
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.

Vibrato
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.

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

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

Support
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/Musicality
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.

Legato/Staccato
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.

Agility
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.

CRITERIA

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

Great 

  • 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

Good 

  • 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

Proficient 

  • 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

Average

  • 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

Weak

  • 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

Regards,

Admin

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

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9,350 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

  1. I’m sorry for asking such a random question but can anyone tell me who the vocalists at the top of every page are? I only recognise Baekhyun(?),Taeyeon, Kyuhyun and Hwanhee. Thanks!

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      1. oh, thanks. since you mentioned pushing, btw, is there a difference between tensioned without support and tensioned with support? if so, then which of the two would be jinho’s G#4?
        i ask that because as i’m practicing with your support videos, i notice that the sound and the origin of the voice with and without support are completely different. as such, when i’m warmed up i can support as high as F4, but to go up to F#4 i feel like there’s an extra effort and the note usually sounds a bit “strong” but it’s not uncomfortable at all. it’s still different from when i can’t go up to G#4/A4 in the “supporting register” so i have to change the sound to the throat and even the volume changes absurdely and i can immediately feel the pressure on my throat, so i was wondering if it’s correct to say that the first one, even if i’m pushing the last notes it’s still somewhat supported.

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      2. I’d say that his was pushed with more tension than support. It wasn’t absent of support, but the tension was more prevalent than the support behind it. So yes it’s possible to have degrees of support. It’s not all black and white, things fall on spectrums.

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      3. Aah, so you can be pushing real hard but still have some support eventhough its much smaller than the push? I maybe doing this all the time…

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  2. Hello. I know that you usually don’t do western artists but since this has been a topic of such split opinions I really wanted to get a more professional view of it.
    Could you please be able to give an overview of this live cover performqnce at the AMAs? Thanks a lot in advance! And sorry for any inconveience

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    1. I’m sorry, but even though I’ve already watched the whole performance your question isn’t specific enough for me to bend the rules. An overview is too general. I don’t know what split opinions you’re talking about as well, as I’ve pretty much seen a consensus of facts vs fans sugarcoating if anything, but it’s not day and night in terms of how well she did split by the opinions of half of the people watching. So…yeah, I’m sorry I don’t mean to sound harsh but it’s just I don’t want to get ourselves involved in this without a good reason. What I can say is that Christina performed this just as she’s been performing everything for the past few years, there was no surprise at all. Her technique is the same as it’s been for quite a while.

      Like

  3. Do you think there are any rappers in kpop who are mentionable as also good vocalists? And if yes who? Since there are some who are rappers but also do sing a lot

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  4. Ahmin, I know you don’t analyze western vocalists, but I have a specific question about something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKZVGmD22Ak at 9:52, Elvis hits a C5 in chest mix. And he is, as far as I can see, a baritone with pretty good low notes.

    I wanna know, were those C5s in this video healthy or not? Is there a way for a baritone to hit a healthy C5 without using head voice or falsetto? Or do you think it’s not possible without using a damaging technique?

    Like

  5. Hi Ahmin! I’ve been wanting to know how ok my registers are and I’ve been anxious if I’m doing a good job or not. If possible, could you also tell my voice type so that I can sing songs with the right ranges that aren’t damaging to my voice? Thank you!!
    Upper/Mixed: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Yxi09WCNyvdI2Zqg3Vwd5xGjs4otFpUV (
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UAlPq8bWIj-Y5_9NzPRZJ0G59fSLX7mG
    Middle/Low: https://drive.google.com/open?id=14uYA06c9t070YYSKPJxpeyoEfk_Rx33L (The fry was intentional)
    Lower: https://drive.google.com/open?id=14uYA06c9t070YYSKPJxpeyoEfk_Rx33L (How was the descending (run?idk)?
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jBmagsxCsMzxoF2p-ELfK91SxgEyyYWk
    TBH I don’t know if I’m a high baritone or a tenor with a low tessitura.

    Like

    1. Haven’t I mentioned to you before what your voice type is? Also this isn’t the first time you send me a recording, so why are you nervous suddenly? haha Unfortunately I don’t have access to these files, so until you allow me access, I cannot answer.

      Like

    2. I don’t mind the way you’re singing “I’d be eternally grateful holding you so close” part but the rest…might be a bit high for you and you’re just pushing through it. I would really suggest not belting songs if you’re not ready to sing those parts first softly. If you can’t sing in a soft mixed voice without pushing so hard, then you probably need to re-work on how you stretch your vocal cords cause this is just pushing air. I would really not suggest singing Mariah Carey songs. I hear a slight tongue tension throughout, it’s a bit of an accent. “You’re treating” “Sweet destiny” “Pray through the night” “I once as lost but now I’m found, I got my feet” “If you believe within your soul just hold on tight” I hear it throughout those parts, most of the time it seems to be engaged by the way you overly pronounce R’s.

      Middle, throughout the first Middle audio. I hear it throughout there. It’s kind of an indie diction thing. You sound very relaxed throughout some of these mid rangey parts. “way past the point of breaking but I can’t take it” there is a lot of tongue there, it sounds birdy for lack of a better explanation. G#2 “this is” yes I hear fry. You have a lot of chest voice which is good for you. Both Middle audios are the same.

      Your runs aren’t bad, but they could be clearer, it feels like you’re shaking the sound a bit but you are separating notes and they’re fast. You should slow it down just a tad and then try again cause it really isn’t bad.

      Honestly I thought you were a tenor and it is possible you are one, but with the way you sing it’s hard to tell because of how you manage your air and how you shout in the higher mix area of your voice. You could be a baritone who’s good at shouting high or a tenor who has more character in their lower range than most. I’m not entirely sure, so I’m just not going to guess for now.

      How have you been practicing your singing?

      Like

  6. Hi Ahmin?

    https://vocaroo.com/i/s08NoL8wu07f

    So, I’d like to ask you how this exercise went. I probably went flat a few times, no surprise there, but I was trying to hit B3 to C#4 most of the time, I’m still struggling with that. Bb3-C4 is much more comfortable though.

    And how’s my head voice/falsetto (I’m not sure) here? There’s no proper song to showcase this so I just recorded it.

    https://vocaroo.com/i/s1rR7UUqkwAb
    https://vocaroo.com/i/s0vu9nCaiEZO

    Like

    1. I am actually kind of confused because you did hit Bb3 and C4 and although I’d like for your throat to be even more relaxed, with you focusing more on the jaw being loose and the soft palate moving and being lifted, you really have an issue with the B3 to C#4. You kept going flat, the pitch was fine before and the only way for you to sing the C# was when the B was sharp. 0:23, that’s it. After that, you started managing it better. See this exercise is very much like micromanagement but your pitch is already improving because instead of moving on and trying to sing higher, you’re focusing and trying to stay in the same notes so that you don’t become lazy! That’s good, focus when doing exercises, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t go any higher. Stay, go lower, then come back like you did. This is nice, but I’d like for you to focus on jaw and soft palate more to allow the vocal cords to be freer.

      The head voice is nicely connected and focused in placement, but the issue is just that you were singing kind of random sounds, so you weren’t really focusing on key center nor pitch but overall production with the ooh vowel is relatively nice. The Ee and Ah let out a bit of air and lose the floaty quality, so just relax and connect a bit more while focusing on the inside of the throat being shaped better.

      Like

      1. Yeah, I knew that when I went to B3 – C#4, I kept going flat. I was aware of that so I kept trying to hit it again and again before going back down. How do you focus on lifting the soft palate? I know that people say it’s like the sensation of when you yawn, but that…is not really helpful for me lol. And while hitting the notes, I noticed that from Bb3, my jaw suddenly dropped while trying to hit C4. Should they not do that? Should they just stay in the same position?

        And yay! My head voice is not bad lol.

        Like

  7. Hi and thank you for all of these amazing analysis. I learned a lot from them.

    This is Bang Yedam. One of YG’s most popular trainees. Few days ago he appeared on JYP’s survival show singing Shawn Mendes’ song.

    I love his voice but I don’t know how to feel about his technique. Does he even support?

    Like

    1. Hi dear! Thank you and we appreciate the support! We don’t believe he supports at all. He has a pretty voice, but it’s all just air and a tight throat.

      Like

  8. Is it possible for anyone who tries to become a good vocalist or is it possible for one to genuinely try but still not be able to be a good vocalist? Does that happen?

    Like

    1. It really depends on how you’d try. Many people are not very patient and skip the actual learning process or take a long time to understand how to work on their singing properly. Without the right instructor and the right practicing method, it might take you a long time to figure things out but I believe it’s possible. It just may take longer for people who don’t grasp the concepts of singing as naturally.

      Like

    1. Neither of them support in the fifth octave and the chorus is full of A#4’s, B4’s, C#5’s and D#5’s. Somin can handle her voice up to B4, even though she’s pushing more than needs to. Jiwoo sings like she is a mezzo, but she’s not. She doesn’t need to carry as much weight as she does.

      Like

      1. She is not, but she sings like she thinks she is one. At least I don’t think so, she doesn’t give me the same vibes Kim Boa or Hani do, she’s more of a Jennie to me.

        Like

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