G2 ~ B5 (3 octaves and 2 notes)
Eb3/E3 ~ G4/G#4
- Best developed mixed register amongst SHINee members (2012 ~ 2014)
- Most consistent resonance and placement amongst SHINee members (2012 ~ 2014)
- Able to keep a stable larynx and support up to G4/G#4 consistently
- Achieved resonance very consistently up to A4 with a few Bb4’s and B4’s (2012 ~ 2014)
- Good pitch and control of his instrument
- Considerable vocal improvement amongst many idols, easily noticeable
- Able to mix up to C#5/D5
- Doesn’t try to do things he can’t with his voice musically i.e. messy runs and strained upper notes
- He has the tendency to stay in a midlow to mid-high range, usually not only supporting his supported range, but singing songs that won’t go below/above that range.
Points for Improvement
- Loses consistency above Bb4/B4 and tends to strain notes above that
- Considerably underdeveloped registers, only able to keep column of sound in his mix
- Although resonant, his voice still lacks color and fullness
- Occasional pitch issues with vocal runs mostly and falsetto
- Notes below E3/Eb3 tend to be too quiet, breathy and weakly supported
- Can occasionally push and squeeze some higher notes, not allowing throat to be fully open
- Weak falsetto, not very good at switching and undeveloped in that register
- Lacks creativity and musicality/musicianship in his vocal delivery
- Lower register: Very underdeveloped as a register, anything below E3 can sound weakly supported, quiet, breathy and very hard to hear and understand.
- Mixed register: Very consistent in his mix, able to keep good column of sound and resonance up to Bb4/B4 occasionally and consistently up to A4. Tends to have a stable larynx and a relaxed throat, with good projection. At times may push and squeeze the vocal cords together. (2012 ~ 2014) Shown a decline in technique from 2015 to present.
- Upper register: Very underdeveloped, barely ever even explores that register and when done, even in studio, it can sound weak and sloppy or very pushed, like his B5 and Bb5 which were squeezed and pushed with a lot of air to get through.
Although having a very light voice, Taemin does not really show any vocal styling apart from a generic straight singing ability. He does not tend to use ornamentation to embellish his songs at all. Occasionally he is able to show vocal runs, in a very high range keeping resonance but not very quickly at all.
Taemin possesses a very light and almost small voice. He’s a great example of a light tenor with a very bright youthful sound, a newly added member to the vocalist line in SHINee. He is a very good example of a hard working idol with a huge ability to prove and show improvement. Throughout the years he started out as a sub-vocalist member of SHINee, mainly concentrating on his dancing rather than singing. Throughout the years he’s learned to control his voice in an amazing manner, very impressive considering how he sounded when SHINee first debuted.
Taemin used to have a very small voice, very weakly supported, easily straining and getting a nasal sound, due to the squeezing of his swallowing muscles and his larynx raising. Back in 2010 that was the case, even on notes as low as G4 and F#4 , which might be the beginning of a more challenging range for a tenor, are not very high notes in his voice. Throughout the years he’s learned to support his voice, control his pitch and larynx position and keep a better column of sound and resonance. Impressively he’s been promoted in SHINee songs taking a lot of upper belts and big notes.
However so, Taemin’s weakness lies in the lack of amount of work he’s put into fully developing his voice overall throughout every register. Amongst SHINee members, he possesses the weakest and least supported lower register. Very weak projection and lacking greatly in color and sound. He takes full advantage, however, of the fact that his mixed register is a much better developed register and generally stays in a safe zone between E3 and A4 for every single song he performs, generally on Immortal Song 2. His lower register still lacks any true color and support anywhere below E3 and Eb3, sounding rather half-spoken and shallow.
Taemin’s mixed register is exactly where his voice shines, however. Impressively able to keep resonance consistently up to A4 and being able to effortlessly sing through high passages, he’s learned to truly use his mixed voice to its best ability through the years. He is able to stay resonant even at times on Bb4’s and B4’s, live and studio. He’s a smart vocalist in that department, able to fully grasp the use of belting and mix correctly according to his voice type as a tenor.
Although his improvement from being a vocalist with completely shallow to almost no support at all to being a vocalist with clean support and consistent resonance was one of the biggest jumps in technique for K-pop idols, there were still some issues to address. Most of his improvement happened in between 2010 and 2012. Comparing his G#4’s from “사랑해 ” in 2010 to his G#4’s in “잠깐만” in 2014, one can hear the change in his openness, support and placement. Going from very throaty and tense to a very clean and opened sound was one of the biggest improvements for any vocalist.
However since he’s always had issues with a slightly closed diction and oftentimes inconsistencies with openness, not addressing these issues got the best of him and caused a slight vocal decline over time. He’s stayed more or less stagnant, but from 2015 to the present, he’s shown more issues with openness and has become tighter in his throat when singing notes as high as A4 or higher. Although to an extent, there was always a certain degree of pushing when belting higher, he was able to keep a more or less opened sound with just enough support during his highest peak period in technique. In “몰라” and “잘못된 만남,” his sound is somewhat pushed on the G#4’s and higher belts, but enough support is kept. The same can be heard in “떠나지못해” when belting A4’s. More recently though, his sound is a lot thinner and tighter, as he squeezes his throat muscles more and lets his larynx raise on A4’s, as heard in “정말 고마웠어요,” “Tell Me What To Do” and “Love.” This can also be heard when comparing the Bb4’s from “마포종점” to the B4’s in “Love,” where there’s a drastic change in openness and placement. He’s not lost his ability to support as high as G4, as heard in “Tell Me What To Do” nor G#4, but has become less consistent with resonance and openness, as well as not showing support above G#4.
His upper register is a very weak and underdeveloped falsetto, much like his lower register, it feels sloppy, badly projected and colorless without any true care for development. At times able to produce notes in the C#5 and E5 range, Taemin’s highest notes ever were a Bb5 and a B5 he more than not, pushed rather than truly supporting and using the same principles he uses for his mixed register.
Taemin used to use a jaw vibrato with a lot of tension, but has overtime also learned to create a healthier vibrato through better support and control. His pitch is generally very good and on point for his supported range, not tending to lose control or connection. His weakest area is the fact that he possesses only one well developed register and two very underdeveloped ones. His voice lacks true musicality and musicianship, barely ever really playing with dynamics or changing melodies, Taemin tends to simply have a clean straight style of singing. In other words, he sings exactly what he’s told to, instead of truly letting his own musical personality be showcased through his singing. He’s also got very good stamina, able to dance and easily sing with proper technique in his supported range.
Taemin vocally is in a level close to Onew’s and Jonghyun’s. He’s a smart vocalist and generally delivers clean performances, without messing up and sounding uncontrolled. His mixed register was so consistent and developed that it created a false impression of a good vocalist. However due to his lack of vocal creativity and developed registers, Taemin possesses a very narrow range for his voice to really truly shine in due to the lack of attention to fully developing his voice into one even sound throughout every single one of his registers.
He possesses a very good spirit for improvement and should be able to improve even more in the future, but for now working on developing his sound to make his voice grow and mature should be the main focus, so that he’s able to use every color and register of his voice to fully create a vocal showcase in his vocal performances. Lastly truly developing his sound to grow bigger, opening his throat and letting his voice mature to find his best styles should help him grow as a vocalist and hopefully musician and performer. He has a very consistent mixed register and can learn to develop the musical side of his voice to understand all that he’s able to do with it. Although his main focus seems to be his dancing and artistry, he is completely capable of improving his technique even more as he’s already shown in the past.
Taemin doesn’t tend to show off much with his voice and tends to simply do what the melody of the song asks him to. He lacks any true understanding of creating vocally creative melodies and playing with music to fully deliver the essence of it.
Label (Type of Vocalist)
MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters
Vocal Range Video(s)
video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)