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



  • 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

Points for Improvement

  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

HV Vocalists: High Head Voice Vocalists

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

WR vocalists: Well Rounded Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: kitsunemale

Video by: 2NE1Bang

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)


370 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


  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?


    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.


  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.


    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.


      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.


      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.


  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! 🙂


    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.


  5. Meu Deus, eu estou em choque com essa triste notícia. Lamento muito pelo SHINee, pelos fãs, todos os admiradores e seguidores do Kpop. Nós sempre pensamos que isso nunca vai acontecer com idols e principalmente com os grupos que gostamos, mas aí vem essa dor e decepção de perder alguém que acompanhamos há quase uma década. Imagino o quanto você deve estar triste Ahmin! Fique bem e obrigado pelo incrível trabalho que você e Pandayeu fazem por boa vontade, trazendo ótimo conteúdo e informando melhor técnicas vocais profissionais para o pessoal que deseja conhecer e aprender um pouco sobre esse rumo que é o canto.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Minnie, our jonghyun passed away. We will always love him dearly. He was an LGBT+ ally, a great member, a skilled vocalist, a great son and brother, and most of all a great person, beautiful I side and out. A moment of love for this kind soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I know it’s not ‘decent’ & correlate to write something like this..

    Buy if I can ask, please dont hide or remove this analysis and his ranking..
    We will miss him so much 😭😭😭😭

    I’m a sone, not even shawol, but I have a big loss now 😭
    All the best for our precious Jonghyun.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you for keeping this up. I think it will take a long time to really feel real. I’m sorry to everyone who is heartbroken and in shock right now. Please cherish his voice and his music. I hope everyone finds something to smile about today.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hey guys, since he’s passed away, shouldn’t you switch the verbs to past tense? Not to be insensitive, I’m mourning and in shock too…


  10. It’s very heartbreaking to know my ultimate bias is gone. This should serve as a reminder for all to not take mental conditions lightly. I will miss him and his voice forever. 😥

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I have been holding back tears for two days now because I haven’t had a chance to cry for you in peace, but I’ve been grieving you silently and painfully, Jonghyun. I am very sad and get teary eyed just thinking about you. I wish you could see how this other cutiepie Minnie wrote a vocal analysis about you. How you are in the top 10 male idols…and all the great things you achieved. You are amazingly beautiful. You are crazy talented. But most of all, what you needed to hear:

    You did well. You did the best. You worked really hard. Rest in Peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I just found out about his death and have been holding back my tears, since I can’t let them out until at night (my family is here right now, so I can’t freely cry at the moment)

    I’ll wait until night and then… I will listen to all his songs/performances, so I hopefully won’t cry the next time I hear his songs. I just want to let it all out today. My heart hurts too much right now
    Thanks for his analysis. He really was a great singer and had an unique voice

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Minnie,

    I hope you are doing better, hon. I am giving you a huge cyber-hug. I know I’m late with the support comments, but please forgive for this one, will you? I wanted to tell you earlier to take as much time as you need to for breathing space, for any form of grieving. A lot of people don’t understand that idols like our dear Jjongie share more of themselves, so they feel closer to friends than simple celebrities. Oh and don’t worry about the 2014 and 2015 analysis, have you stopped and looked at all that you’ve written? I think Jongie would be proud of you as I am proud of you. We waiting a little while won’t hurt anyone, so take your time. 🙂

    P.S. We love you :). I’ve been watching you working in spite of recent events. Take it easy once in a while, ok? Stay healthy.

    P.S.S. Since this is on Jonghyun’s analysis, We love you Jonghyun!!! You did well. You were really the best artist in SM and in your class.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re always so incredibly lovely and supportive towards me and I don’t honestly know what I even did to deserve such genuine kindness from you and know that I deeply appreciate it and am touched by this.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You didn’t know why you receive these comments from me and from other people? Simple, because you are good person cutiepie and a passionate and talented professional. When I put it this way, it seems pretty obvious, right? Just as Jongie wanted people to know Krystal was simply shy and not mean, I want people to know these things about you. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. But you specifically, you’ve shown me so much love and I don’t know if I’ve ever done enough to deserve this much love from you so I’m really thankful.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. It’s the first time in 2 weeks I’m visiting this website… When I learnt about his death I had to go back to school and I just wanted to cry in the tramway.. I finally cracked before entering in class because I was still processing what was happening… I just couldn’t accept it… When I came back home I just cried again because it was just so hard.. and it’s still is.

    K-Pop is such a big part of my life and such a special genre where, somehow, you feel close to your favs.. SHINee was one of my first and favourite groups, and Jonghyun was one of my favourite singers. When I discovered this website and read his analysis, it just made me love him more because I was so happy he had a good vocal technique. So I would like to thank you for all your hardwork and all the love you’re spreading in the K-Pop community. We need more people like you : people who actually know what they are talking about and use their experience to help other people. That’s what Jonghyun did. He helped people. He helped us. Yet, we couldn’t help him back.

    My friends kept telling me that I couldn’t do anything because I don’t live in Korea and that I shouldn’t feel guilty. But I can’t help but feel like this.

    Jonghyun, you worked hard and well. Your voice was and is still amazing. And we will always love you.
    I hope you’re happy where you are.
    May you rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We will have one more chance to listen to his songs – SM has stated, that on January 23rd they will release the album that Jonghyun wrote and which was supposed to be released at the beginning of January. Hopefully it brings some sort of comfort to all of us who are mourning :). (who am I kidding, I’ll be ugly crying in the corner)


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