SHINee’s Vocal Analysis: Jonghyun

Vocal Range

G2 ~ C#6 (3 octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

C3 ~ G#4/A4

C3 ~ F#5/G5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Second most supported lower register in SHINee amongst the tenors
  • Most developed head voice/falsetto register amongst SHINee members
  • Achieved resonance a number of times from Eb4 ~ A4 range
  • Strongest vocalist in SHINee
  • Able to keep a stable larynx even in his lowest notes
  • Able to project forward his lower register range between F#3 ~ C#3/C3, occasionally B2 and Bb2

Weaknesses

  • Tendency to push notes on A4/Bb4 and above
  • Although resonant in placement, throat isn’t as opened as it could be to achieve a fuller sound
  • Pushed falsetto/heady mix at times, creating a nasal strained sound
  • When he does not breathe properly or shows vocal fatigue, prone to having pitch/intonation issues
  • Although having a stable larynx in his lower register, notes tend to be quiet and breathy below C3/B2

Registers

  • Lower register: Stable larynx in his lower register, but at times overly breathy and unsupported, with others having a better projection and placement
  • Mixed register: Able to mix well, choosing when to use a heavier or chestier mix or a more balanced and lighter mix, although having the tendency to push on the chestier mix. Very extensive upper range, capable of mixing up to F5/F#5 but still not being able to fully support notes above A4 properly.
  • Upper register: At times able to produce a very relaxed and supported head voice/falsetto, able to extend up to A5 with a relatively relaxed throat, but also having the other extreme of pushing with a nasal forced placement and strained on notes as low as C#5~F#5 range. In a softer falsetto, generally relaxed up until F#5/G5 with some ease up until A5.

Agility

Jonghyun possesses a very light and somewhat agile voice, the problem with it is his lack of pitch accuracy. Although he’s able to smoothly transition in between pitches with a slow to medium tempo agility, some are not hit correctly thus creating sloppy runs. It’s an inconsistent agility with the need of more precision and care.

Overall analysis

Jonghyun’s natural light and thin voice allows him for a very soft sound as well as a very piercing sound when desired. His vocal timbre is youthful, with a very bright quality to it. Over the years his voice has matured and lighted up in tone, allowing for an even brighter sound with more ease in the upper register, also enabling his voice to be much softer in his lower range and better placed. He’s able to descend down to his lower range with relative ease, generally able to keep his larynx considerably stable, with a forward placement and projection down to C3, such as in “Deja-Boo“. Usually most low parts require a softer approach so he has the tendency to produce overly breathy notes below in the A2 ~ C#3 range, although more often than not C3 and C#3 are fuller in tone. In some performances of Breath, with labelmate Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation, Jonghyun descends to breathy B2’s and other fuller ones at times, same for Bb2’s, such as in the ones in Nothing Better. As a natural tenor, his voice really only shines up in his higher mixed range in the mid-fourth octave.

Jonghyun used to approach his higher mix starting around the Eb4 ~ F#4 with more forcefulness and would push up higher and higher, with a chestier mix. Over the years he has brightened up the sound to a more mask placed mixed voice with a more balanced production, therefore producing a healthier mix. He is most consistently resonant in his mixed range up to G4/G#4 and sometimes resonant A4’s are reached, or supported. His vibrato is also usually present on resonant notes up until G4/G#4, with relative ease and control, but notes above G#4 tend to be a bit tighter and not as relaxed, not having a present vibrato as a consequence. However so, he has the tendency to breathe incorrectly at times causing his support to drop and his pitch and tone production to be compromised, such examples include that of his L’Arc En-Ciel cover where due to moving too much around on stage, the breathing was greatly compromised causing him to push on many notes and going considerably flat and sharp throughout the performance. His placement is still considerably well produced most of the time and he’s able to keep a consistent column of sound with mask and chest resonance in his voice. Although resonance is achieved Jonghyun still tends to keep his vowels closed and his throat ends up closing as well, trapping some of the sound. In other words, although his voice is well placed in the mask, the tone isn’t as full as it could be due to the little space provided in his throat for sound to come out and project.

His breath support and control is relatively consistent. When he is on point, he’s able to keep his throat open enough and his intonation is good, but at other times, due to too much movement and vocal fatigue, his intonation is clearly damaged, although tone production in itself isn’t always compromised. In the London Performance of “Nothing Better” Jonghyun shows vocal fatigue and so his intonation and vocal runs are at times off, but his upper falsetto notes still retain a relaxed and opened free sound, without real constriction. Jonghyun’s falsetto register is one of the most developed in SHINee, at times being able to produce a fuller head voice or at others a more breathy falsetto sound. He’s consistently able to stay in that register without real signs of fatigue, although at other times he will push a more heady mix sound with clear throat tension which also compromises his intonation and control.

Jonghyun is overall consistent enough in his falsetto, lower chest and mixed register, being the most well rounded SHINee member. Although it’s known that Taemin possesses a more consistent and well placed mixed voice, with notes produced with more of a healthy technique in between the G4 ~ B4 range, Jonghyun still is able to withstand his position as the main vocalist by his falsetto and lower chest register to balance him out, alongside his musicality, also known as the understanding of music. Jonghyun is able to use onsets and perceive music more accurately with appropriate dynamic, breathiness, raspiness and placement changes depending on the style, although not 100% able to execute it well, he has the right potential to achieve such versatility. So in short, he has potential and ability at times, but it’s either a nice delivery or a messy delivery.

Over the years Jonghyun has shown some improvement, considerable at times, in consistency and placement, but he has still a lot of room to grow with the years. He’s a passionate vocalist with a strong ability to understand music through lyric writing, composition, bass, guitar and piano playing. As an artist he shows potential to develop his craft, as a vocalist, from what he’s shown, he might improve more slowly and develop through the years.

Musicianship

Although able to vary songs and show his own interpretation, he lacks on consistency of his creativity. In other words, Jonghyun has the ability to creatively think of ways to change a song around and make it his own, but also isn’t consistent on delivering his interpretation effectively, at times going off pitch, at times straining and creating unnecessary strained sounds. At times he’s able to execute his ideas effectively with good pitch and placement, like adding vocal runs to embellish a song, but at others adding runs that are closed in his throat and with varying precision.

Rating

Proficient Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: kitsunemale

Video by: 2NE1Bang

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

345 thoughts on “SHINee’s Vocal Analysis: Jonghyun

  1. you know i actually dont mind the tongue tension Jjong has, actually i think i like it. hes always had it and it was ever so slight and i think it gave another dimension to his voice

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  2. Would you say Jonghyun has one of the most developed head voice/ faletto registers out of all Kpop male idols?
    After reading through the analysis of the members you have ranked above Jonghyun, with the exceptions of Ryeowook, Kyuhyun, and Lee Hyun, none of them seem to have as developed head voice/falsettos as Jonghyun does, at least to my ears. :p
    I think he’d at least be in the top 10, if not top 5, but what about you?

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    1. I would actually, although he’s neglected it in recent years. He used to be one of the ones with the most ease up there and was always very good at using it.

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  3. Hi, ahmin3. I was hoping you could indulge me again. I have been wondering for a long time whether Jonghyun (as well as other SHINee members, although perhaps not Taemin) has damaged his voice over time. When I listen to their most recent music, it doesn’t seem to have as many high notes in it, whereas old and somewhat old tracks like “Everybody,” “Sleepless Night,” and “Hitchhiking” really tend to get up into the stratosphere, at least a points. (There is also a beautiful note (in my opinion) by Jonghyun in “Quasimodo” at about 3:15. I also really enjoyed his high note in “Hitchhiking, although you and I disagreed about that in a previous conversation.) On the other hand, their newer music, and Jonghyun’s solo material in particular, seems very safe to me in terms of range, mostly featuring–and in my opinion, overusing–his falsetto and breathy mid-range. You can hear this in basically all of his more popular songs, like “Deja Boo,” “Crazy,” “White T-Shirt,” “She Is,” etc.; I find it very underwhelming musically. So, first of all, do you agree that the vocal ranges of their recent songs are slightly lower than they once were? Second, has Jonghyun lost his ability to sing those screaming high notes, and if so, how would you describe the faults in his technique that have led to that vocal damage? Would really love to hear your thoughts on this.

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    1. I don’t think him avoiding a high mix is what I would call vocal damage. Jong-hyun is maturing and experimenting with different vocal styles, breathiness and lots of falsetto is his current go to. That doesn’t mean he can’t mix high anymore, he just chooses not to for his newer songs. He has expressed that he has vocal modules and has had them for years so perhaps there’s a chance that’s affected his overall consistency.

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      1. I suppose you could call it experimentation, but avoiding his high mix most of the time seems indicative of a lack of versatility, no? Anyway, why wouldn’t he showcase that skill if he has it? Also, do you have a link/source regarding Jonghyun’s nodules? I’m Googling it but I’m only getting stuff about Onew’s surgery.

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      2. He had other skills before but chose to showcase mostly or exclusively high belting, he’s going through a musical phase? Oh actually I don’t, I don’t remember where I read about it right now but I’ll try to see later.

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  4. Hi Matheus! I’m sorry if someone has already posted this but I don’t think I’ve seen you talk about it before and I myself just stumbled upon this performance.

    Jonghyun’s solo part is from the beginning till 1:25. It seems like this is in a lower register than usual for him; because of that, I was wondering how he did! 🙂

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    1. The lowest notes were A2’s at 0:25, aside from that he was projecting well enough around C#3’s and that’s the only time he sang below C#3 in this. This isn’t lower than he’s sung before, he does sing this low kind of normally. He is going back and forth with projecting C#3’s, 1:07 these are much better than some others throughout so it’s mostly stylistic.

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