SHINee’s Vocal Analysis: Taemin

Taemin

Vocal Range

G2 ~ B5 (3 octaves and 2 notes)

Supported Range

Eb3/E3~ A4/Bb4

Voice Type

Light-Lyric Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Best developed mixed register amongst SHINee members
  • Most consistent resonance and placement amongst SHINee members
  • Able to keep a stable larynx and support up to G#4/A4 consistently
  • Achieved resonance very consistently up to A4 with a few Bb4’s and B4’s
  • 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.

Weaknesses

  • 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

Registers

  • 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.
  • 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.

Agility

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.

Overall analysis

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 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 going higher. Back in 2010 that was the case, even on notes as low as G4 and F#4 for him, which although somewhat challenging for a tenor, still not impossible. 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, having only truly sustained a resonant B4 in studio (Dreamgirl) though. 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.

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 is so consistent and developed that it creates 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 throughout every register. He possesses a very good spirit for improvement and should be able to improve and impress 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.

Musicianship

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.

Rating

Above Average to Proficient Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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

321 thoughts on “SHINee’s Vocal Analysis: Taemin

    1. He is holding back in terms of projection, his placement is slightly more nasal than usual, he is a bit tighter but he is just approaching the whole song with a bit more of a held back tight sound, it’s not too tight or tense, it’s just it could’ve been more free and opened.

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    1. He did pretty well, 1:56 that G4 was good, his placement and support were good, his posture wasn’t. 2:12 placement was really good, but he was pushing a bit. This was the cleanest performance of the trio BaekChenMin tbh. It was also the lowest, no A4’s.

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    1. That depends on the listener. Some people might enjoy his singing, some might not. That is a personal opinion, not an objective conclusion.

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      1. I think he still lack when it comes to putting any kind of emotion into his singing, right?
        That’s why he sounds so (plain?) I guess, 😄
        Correct me if I’m wrong *^*

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      2. That depends on the listener. I’d say he doesn’t really play with dynamics and style much so his singing is very monotonous, if you’d perceive that as not having emotion, then sure, that might be the same. We just don’t talk about emotions here cause that’s not objective.

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  1. Thank you so much for this analysis, it’s really helpful!
    I’m really happy with Taemin’s rating, as he is my bias and I personally find his voice and singing amazing <3. I'm sure all the extra lines he is given now are due to this improvement.
    Do not mind the hatters btw. I mean I also like JYJ's Jaejoong and was shocked with his analysis, but I accepted that my fangirl heart might have exagerated his singing talent, lol.
    If you don't mind me asking, what do you think of bigbang's Seungri's singing? And how would you rate him?
    Thanks a lot in advance 🙂

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    1. I don’t really think of Seungri but from what I’ve heard he kind of pushes his voice out of his throat a lot and has very weak support, he doesn’t truly try to support and he has a limited volume output because of that. His pitch is okay, he is weak or weak to average at most.

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  2. Just randomly looking through old videos of shinee and was wondering what you think of this old performance of symptoms and how each member did.

    I was also wondering if this was sang live or pre recorded considering how clean they more or less sounded, coming from an untrained ear lol.

    Really appreciate what all of you guys do on this site. Didn’t know much about singing in general until I got into kpop and stumbled upon this site while trying to get a gist of how good kpop groups are at singing. It’s nice to have something so thorough and well thought out when it comes to this site’s analyses.

    From a silent lurker lol

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    1. I’m glad this helps you get a better perspective of things when familiarizing yourself with k-pop haha ^ ^ So for this song, the chorus has a lot of Bb4’s but the verses are nice with G4’s, where all the tenors are fine and comfortable. 1:22 Key is pretty tight and the runs coming down are a bit iffy but not that bad. I think it sounds live actually.. The biggest problem I’m hearing with this performance is the Bb4’s and the runs, those are not working for any of them. Maybe it was pre recorded, but it was pretty nice overall. The Bb4’s are the first notes in Baybe BAYEEEEEEEEE BAAAAEEE …lol Basically, the ee vowel is where the Bb4 happens so the Bb4’s sound even worse because of that.

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      1. Wow! Didn’t expect a response so quick and from the main man himself lol Really appreciate that and thanks for going through all the trouble.

        Ya for me shinee was the group that got me into kpop, particularly this song. (My favorite kpop song to this day btw ^^) After listening to lots of other kpop groups for the last couple of years, I always felt vocally shinee was a really well put together, talented group.

        Anyways hope you guys keep continuing on the impressive work as there are a probably a lot of lurkers like me that don’t post but truly enjoy the analyses and discussions that go on all over the site. The best discussions are always the ones with the “passionate” fans that refuse to believe their bias are anything but the best lol

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      2. I’m not the main man.. lol Or like…a big deal lol Thanks though haha I was online haha It was just the right time. Oh SHINee is…well from what we’ve heard, SHINee is in the top 5 best male vocal groups overall, or vocal lines. You love a mess don’t you? haha Passionate discussions is a way to put it lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks a lot for your analysis! he has flaws but i have the utmost faith that he’ll improve a lot in the next few years, esp considering how terrible he was at debut. maybe in some time he’ll join jonghyun in the competent ranks haha.

    i’m just wondering though, what’s his best performance? or at least a performance where he sang very well?

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  4. Today I saw Taemin’s live of one of his new album’s track called “Soldier”( he wrote the lyrics) and i immediately fell in love!! I swear this is his best vocal prefomance, I’ve never saw him singing with such a passion and emotion, I’ve got goosebumps all over my body when he hits those high notes!! T.T What do you think of this perfomance??

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    1. I can see why you’d think this is an emotional performance. It was pretty theatrical and well performed. However we don’t take emotion into consideration since acting has nothing to do with vocal technique. In terms of technique, he’s had better performances. The higher notes, specially in the bridge, the Bb4’s and C5’s were pretty strained. It wasn’t bad but he’s had better.

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  5. Which one is better his lower register or upper register?
    And i still remember Chen also can mix till A4 jut like Taemin. Who is better in mix area? Well, even i know chen’s lower register waaaay much greater than his mix i think lol .____.

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  6. Did you think Taemin improved in this album? I know that he is very hardworking and I was hoping that all his hard work was not wasted(well with way the album is going he won’t fail but I don’t want him to stop growing and improving cuz he always wants to do better I want him happy). I mean personally I think he did good with his album and his control in his lives are pretty good but I don’t know anything about vocal analysis so only thing I can say is that he “sounds nice”.

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  7. How did everyone do in this video?

    It seems to be the highest use heard Minho sing live but did he strain? Di Key also strain?
    At 3:19 did Jonghyun sing a bit off tune and then correct himself?
    Did Taemin sing quietly or is that just his natural volume?

    Thank you ^_^

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    1. Key did nicely in the beginning with softening his tone instead of making it heavy..but that’s just because he just generally sings kind of lightly for his voice type… in the chorus where he sang though, he was a bit shouty… Onew’s C3 in the verse was airy but he barely even sang the note… Jonghyun’s C3 in his verse was super nice though, supported and with tone. Lovely tbqh. Onew and Jonghyun did nicely in the chorus with openness and support.. 3:18 Jonghyun’s G#4 ~ Bb4 slide, the G#4 was nice… the Bb4 not so much…but it wasn’t off tune. Overall in the choruses Minho and Key sang pretty high for their voice types…they can mix pretty high but still sounded quite nasal and strained… but not terrible… I enjoyed this, Taemin did well too, he supported an Eb3 nicely in the bridge but he went slightly flat in one part but it was almost unnoticeable…so yeah this was overall nice but individually of course they have parts to work on..

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      1. Thank you!

        Another question, how did Onew hold his 40 second note in Friend? Did he really hold his breath the whole time? I heard some parts where he kinda sounded like he was going to end the note and then sort of recovered (?). How does he do that?

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      2. It’s just about support, lung capacity and a soft approach. The note wasn’t high and he wasn’t pushing volume out so he could hold the note longer.

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    1. He sounds thinner and headier, the aye vowel is definitely still a problem for him. 2:12 that was a better approach than in the first pre-chorus, I know he is trying to be softer in the first chorus but he could be soft and still maintain an opened throat. 3:15 that G4 is really nice, the G#4 on the aye vowel right before wasn’t so nice. Not the most suited song for him, it didn’t showcase his range well enough.

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  8. Hi again, just recently heard Taemin’s album and out of all the songs on this song stood out to me the most, but not sure why. Gave me a very empathetic feel, meaning I feel like he conveyed the emotions of the song very well. Personally I don’t really hear anything out of the ordinary from how Taemin normally sings but I feel like out of all the songs on his album, this one sounds very comfortable for him while at the same time, I get the feel he’s trying to experiment with his voice? For example from 0:24 – 0:54 he sounds a lot higher than normal…is this what you call head voice? But then during the chorus he goes back to his usual style of singing. Also, overall he sounds a bit breathy throughout the entire song. I’m guessing it’s for stylistic purposes, but is that generally a good way to sing? lol I’m such a noob at this stuff. Anyways just wanted to get your take on how he sang the song overall. Thanks

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    1. Yes 0:24 ~ 0:54 he is using a lot of his falsetto, but that wasn’t necessarily higher than normal since he was singing pretty much with a soft falsetto approach on the range from F#4 ~ B4, which is not high for him at all and not a new range for him. He’s sung like this before but perhaps not for a whole section of a song, as long as this one. Breathiness is not a good way of singing but it’s not necessarily bad. If all you can do is singing with a breathy approach, then you end up irritating your vocal cords and limiting their development, but if you can go back and forth with airiness and tone that’s a good thing. Taemin can’t really do that in his falsetto because all he has is a falsetto, not a head voice and so it’s never a connected register.

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      1. oh, thanks! i know some note choices are bad (and lipped, and not actual belting), but. yeah.

        //also, you shared it on twitter! that was cool of you, thanks a lot!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. For the most part, at times he still sounds very young and boyish and since his mix can be a bit narrow and tight, his voice just has a very small size compared to others with bigger resonance. It’s mostly something that happens when he’s phrasing notes instead of sustaining them.

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  9. It seems for me that Taemin tends to slouch and put his head down while singing, especially during the most strong (I’m not sure this is the correct word) notes, like, for example, in the ‘best vocal performance’ video? Shouldn’t it be a trouble? Or is it actually so? Cause for me he still sounds very good at such moments.

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    1. Not necessarily a good thing but definitely better than putting your head up high. It’s not ideal posture wise, but again this is pop singing and a lot of it is very visual.

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  10. This analysis is so professional and thanks so much for sharing it! Wow! Actually I’m a bit surprisd by Taemin’s high rating, although quite happy about it cuz he’s my bias haha!
    I think what Taemin lacks now mostly is confidence when he’s doing live solo. When he gets nervous his voice is very strained. He always sounds better relaxed. Do u think so? Of course there’s still the poorly developed lower register (although I think he’s improved a bit since his first mini album). And in this new album press it he’s used much more falsetto than before, and I’m quite happy about that. But tbh he still can’t do high pitch falsetto very well in live performance.
    He’s suffered from pollen allergy, so sometimes he sounds pretty nasal when talking. Do you think this would affect his vocal performance?
    It would be nice to get your kind reply. Thank you very much~

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    1. Yeah allergies can affect your singing but if you know how to manipulate your resonators, it shouldn’t be a drastic change.

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      1. Thanks a lot~!
        Here’s another thing that’s been bothering me. I would constantly be suspecious about if a performance is live or not. I know that some shows would calibrate the recorded song to make it sound more accurate and modify the parts where the singer didn’t do very well. Though I’m no expert, many shows do this in China. And sometimes they would just play the pre-recorded live track of that song and let the singer lip-sync so it’s hard to tell if it’s live or not. So when Taemin do really really well, I would get uneasy and have to persuade myself to get rid of this paranoia. Am I crazy? Is there some skiil I can use to tell the difference? Or is it even necessary to be bothered by this?
        Never mind. Sometimes I think I’m just projecting my own unconfidence on him.

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      2. I mean telling lip sync is kind of an experience thing and it’s really hard to tell without having any reference. You shouldn’t worry too much about lip synchronizing, just focus on good singing and then use shows where they can’t lip sync on as references for their singing. So if it’s a weekend show, I mostly don’t bother.

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  11. Something that is kinda weird to me is HOW youthful he sounds (what I suspect of being the main reason why he is underrated af). Looking at other idols around the same age as him all of them sounds way more mature to me, even my bro who is 15 years old only lmao. I don’t know if our voice can change much after we hit the adult age so my question here is, does his voice has to mature yet and if so, would it take much time? I mean, he won’t sound like this in his 30’s, or it can actually be possible? IoI Narsha is also someone who sounds more girlish than it should to me, considering she is on her 30’s. But seriously, Taemin really impresses me… Or I just haven’t heard any other male like him to find it normal IoI Anyways seems that I’m bothered with the situation but they are actually my fav male and female voices 👀

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    1. Well Michael Jackson had a really high voice for years.. And yeah there’s Narsha. Taemin’s voice might drop a bit more with time.

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  12. How can he support his voice without lower or upper range, I mean if he has a mix range sure he has head and chest resonance. I’m just asking, I don’t know why?

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    1. They’re not all mutually exclusive. Hyorin had resonance up to F5 but couldn’t sing in head voice. Junsu has almost no lower range but a good mix and a head voice so having one does not guarantee the rest.

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  13. Which year do you think it’s started to be like Jonghyun>Taemin>Onew(Or Taemin/Onew)>Key>Minho? Many people still think it like Jonghyun>Onew>Taemin>Key>Minho.

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    1. Oh no it still yes Onew > Taemin but it used to be Jonghyun >> Onew >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> rest and now it’s Jonghyun >> Onew > Taemin >>>>>>>>>>>>> Key >>>>>>> Minho. The year that happened was like 2012/2013 ish

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  14. Hey there
    Small question, out of the whole kpop world.
    would you consider SHINee to be the boy group that has the best overall vocals ?
    I know Key and Minho are lacking behind on technique
    But they sound quite stable in live performances, average vocalists i suppose?
    And theres no denying on the other Big3 🙂
    Love ur reviews btw

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    1. If we look at just the vocal line, KRY > BaekChenSoo > SHINee, but if we look at the overall group, EXO and Super Junior are too big and so their vocal average is weighed down by ALL the other members of their groups that happen to fall under the weak category. So if we consider overall every single member, I think SHINee may have a better overall vocal average.

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      1. It’s funny that you would ask that question because they’re my next analyses. ^ ^ I guess you’ll find out soon if you stick around since I don’t know them well enough to say yet.

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  15. Hi, thank you for doing such a good job with all these analysis! 🙂

    Have you heard Taemin’s Japanese debut single? It’s been pre-released on Japanese radios, and this is one of the links to the audio.

    I really have hard time with this song, cause to me his vocal sounds really weak and bad compared to his previous performances? I just wanted to know what you think of it before I rush to conclusions without really having a professional’s take a look at it. You know, like a doctor.
    I just sounds so off in my ears, but if it’s really as bad as I think, then I’m surprised Taemin released the song like this.

    I hope you’ll agree to help me, because every other Taemin fan seems to be digging this song, and I can’t seem to follow them at the moment 😦

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    1. Hi there dear. Thank you for appreciating our work. ^ ^

      See we usually like to stay away from listening to studio tracks, cause they don’t really tell us too much about them vocally. This has a lot of harmonies and production, it’s not too vocal or anything. Taking into consideration that it’s in Japanese, which causes him to become a bit more nasal than he would in Korean, he’s also using a lot of falsetto in the chorus and his mixed voice is really being used a lot with the aye vowel throughout the end of the first pre-chorus into the chorus, but the second pre-chorus sounded much better. Now the choruses where he’s mixing, he’s singing Bb4’s on the aye vowel, which are rather underwhelming for Taemin. Taemin’s mix is strong up to A4 more consistently than A4 and on more opened vowels such as Oh and Ah, Ee and Aye will close his throat a lot and it’s an issue he’s had for a while. Now the sound quality wasn’t too great either but he sounds okay, it’s definitely nos his best vocal performance.

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      1. Yeah, I know audios are not great for analyzing vocals and that the quality was not great either, but thank you for still answering my question so thoroughly! 🙂

        Your conclusion makes a lot of sense, and I while I did consider that it might have a lot to do with his use of falsetto in the song, I didn’t think about his trouble with some vowels. It makes a lot of sense now!
        So yeah, probably not the best song choice for him, but hopefully he’d step up to the challenge and learn from the performances, he’ll do with this song. I’m excited for the promotion and live stages now!

        Thank you for all your help!

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  16. Would you say he’s kind of similar to Yerin Baek but as a male? with only one developed register while the others are underdeveloped?

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    1. I don’t agree with this but I don’t know how he made his choices, if that user has no real true knowledge of vocal technique then that means his criteria is definitely different. People are entitled to their opinions for whatever criteria they’re using. If they believe Key is better than Taemin for whatever reason, I can’t agree but that’s based on vocal technique.

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  17. I’m just wondering. Why does Taemin only have one video on that ‘Best Vocal Performance’ section? And that video isn’t even a solo one. Does that mean Taemin doesn’t even produced any solo video with high quality vocal that showcased his singing techniques even though he’s high up there in Above Average to Competent? Thank you! 🙂

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    1. There’s no particular reason. It has nothing to do with him not having solo videos, I could actually add something from immortal song as well.

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  18. Would you say it is the most impressive development in vocal technique from any idol who has already been reviewed, pre-deubt to now? Also, too bad he hasnt shown signs of working towards improved technique in the latest album, hope he’ll keep developing. He is kind of colorless in tone like beyonce to me (am I crazy?), but I kinda like his???

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  19. hi. so i saw this performance and after the 3:40 minute mark taemin starts singing a second song. I was wondering, do you think it’s actually live? you can hear his breathing quite a lot (it sounded like he was out of breath after all that dancing), but im still not sure.

    anyway, how do you think he did? 🙂

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      1. I was going to post this too, the audio quality in this one is higher. Don’t suppose it changes your impression does it?

        The thing that stood out to me here is this seems like the most accurate I’ve ever heard Taemin, but I wonder if that’s the backing track and/or the superior and more mature Japanese hardware/production compared to Korean performances generally.

        Speaking of Japanese, you said that he’s less open when singing Japanese. I would guess it’s because he’s not as comfortable in it even though he is quite a fluent speaker. It wouldn’t be a stylistic choice would it?

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      2. It doesn’t really change what I’ve said before. Accurate in what way? Taemin is not usually a pitchy vocalist so if you mean that.. I do think it’s kind of a sub conscious thing where singing in Japanese while not speaking it fluently and emulating how native speakers sound in Japanese does block him. He’s a lot more nasal than he would be in Korean.

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      3. (No reply button so I hope this works)

        Accurate was almost certainly the wrong word. The more I think and listen, I believe the reason I like this performance so much, other than just plain liking the song, might simply be the sound quality of the venue. His voice seems particularly clear and full, if slightly monotonous which you mentioned in a different reply. I acknowledge it’s a shortcoming of his, but I don’t think it takes too much away from this performance. I guess deep down I just want to tell someone I like this vid.

        Love the site btw. Great stuff. I only just found out about Sandeul thanks to you. Holy Moly.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hi me again. I was listening to the studio version of 世界で一番愛した人 and I immediately noticed a couple of embellishments in the video I posted (3:30-3:31 & 3:36-3:42) that are not in the studio version at all. I know they’re nothing major but I wonder first of all if you were aware, and if not, do they improve his Musicianship entry at all?

        Also have you listened to SHINee’s new repackage, 1 and 1? Anything catch your ear in there? I really like all five songs myself.

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  20. You know this vocal ranking? Many are saying that Key is better than Taemin when live and I kind of agree to it as well. However, Taemin is stronger in his vocal technique and that’s why he is ranked as an Above Average to Competent Vocalist in your blog. I don’t really find fault in all those information, but is Taemin really at Onew’s level? And is Taemin really better than Key when live?

    Cause many people in that video are using your blog to state such facts. In my opinion, I feel that Taemin is definitely not at the level of Onew and Key is generally better than Taemin in live performances. Please help to clear this as many Taemints are using this blog to compare him on the same level as Onew and using this to say that Taemin is better live.

    You can watch Shinee MR removed and Taemin’s real voice is a bit breathy while the rest of the members are generally okay. In terms of live, I think Taemin and Jonghyun are the weakest while Onew, Key and Minho can pretty much sing better during live stages.

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    1. This isn’t a ranking, this is a line distribution video. What makes Key better “live”? What’s singing better live? Because yes Taemin has much better technique than Key. Key sings almost entirely with jus throat, he has almost no support. He is singing with tension a lot more than any of the other 3 vocalists. MR Removed videos are irrelevant to prove vocal ability. They don’t show anything. Have you heard Taemin singing on Immortal Song 2? That’s live, it’s him, solo and with much better vocal technique. Your argument for who sings better than who seems to be that their live singing is better but I don’t really understand.. how? Like in what way is it better live? Is it while singing and dancing? That’s irrelevant to vocal technique. If there’s tension, then they have improper technique, you know that right? In what way are they not in the same ranking or weaker? Cause live singing is kind of a vague argument. I hope I don’t come off as rude, I apologize if I do.

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      1. Sorry, I linked the wrong video. I was intending to link the vocal performance ranking video which everyone is talking about. Correct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKrpUWiFVOs
        I feel that Taemin cannot sing well live. Isn’t it true? His voice gets breathy sometimes while Key remains consistent most of the time. And have you seen Key’s live performances as well? Even in immortal song, Key’s vocals are still on point, while everyone is just talking about Taemin, Taemin and Taemin sadly. This is so saddening, many are praising Taemin’s vocal improvement as he is kind of bad when debut (I know about the puberty and stuff), and most Taemin fans doesn’t know about the other 4’s improvement. I think Taemin still needs much improvement in terms of live singing to be on par with other members. His live is not that great to listen, especially in mr removed. Not because his voice is not nice to hear, but he just can’t project it well live.

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      2. Oh I see this video makes a lot more sense.

        Okay I really do apologize beforehand if I come off as rude but this is a topic that’s been discussed and is still being brought up over and over again and it feels like it will never rest. These arguments about why Key is better are all flawed and baseless and having known SHINee for years and honestly loving them all for years, getting this question again and again it’s a bit frustrating. It’s frustrating because there’s not even a comparison, they’re not even close. I am going to watch the video sections where Taemin’s vocals and Key’s vocals are highlighted and I will explain what I hear.

        1:30 ~ 2:23 I don’t hear any breathiness, there’s no lack of projection but also this whole section is lip synched so it’s irrelevant to live singing. 2:24 ~ 2:36 He’s singing in his lower range, he’s singing softly on purpose, the range is E3 and above, it’s within his supported range. The tone quality is soft and a bit airy, he’s a bit nasal and lacks volume but it’s all within the genre and stylistic approach. 2:48 he sounds tired in this portion, his mix is usually more opened than this but he still remains supported, even though his throat is not as opened. He’s pushing a bit through and he didn’t hit the A4 at 2:50, but he did hit G#4 and sustained F#4, which is perfectly within key but he was tired vocally speaking, the quality is different than his usual live quality. Wait..this is it? This is all there is to Taemin’s singing live? Oh. Okay. It doesn’t really show anything relevant, most of it isn’t live.

        2:58 ~ 3:18, this is half rapping, half speaking. 3:22 ~ 3:43 this is all lip synched as well, there are a lot of effects going on his vocals to make his voice echo more. 3:44 Key is also airy here. He’s singing softly as well, but he is using his throat, 3:54 here he’s solely using his throat to sing. There’s no proper support, and he’s only singing C#4’s. 4:05 F4’s, again he’s a baritone so F4’s for him are almost like A4’s for tenors, and here I hear a lot of throatiness, tightness, and he’s just singing with the back of his throat muscles tensed up and his larynx high. 4:13 he’s just tight throughout. 4:22 Bb4, which is pretty high especially for a baritone but again all of this, it’s just singing with a high larynx. 4:25 E4’s, 4:26 G#4’s, all of this is just in his throat, he’s just singing through tension. 4:37 He’s more relaxed in this portion. 4:42, his lowest note so far, C3, he has more tone than Taemin in this area for sure because he’s a baritone and this isn’t as low for him but throughout he sounds shallow and overcompensating a lack of proper stretch of his vocal cords by using a more excessive air pressure and compression of his vocal cords, with tension from his throat and he sounds just..shallow. There’s no true support. 4:45 ~ 4:55. Then for 4:58 he’s singing a bit higher, again all in his throat. 5:06 this is just pure vocal strain, he sounds really just closed and slightly flat tone quality wise, not pitch wise. His voice lacks depth, roundness and fulness. 5:13 ~ 6:27 most of this is lip synched and even if it weren’t, it’s all throat singing.

        Okay to address your questions, not it isn’t true that Taemin cannot sing well live. Both of their voices get breathy, in no moment in that video did I hear Taemin get excessively breathy in a range that was uncommon for him, same thing for Key. Also Key remains consistent how? Consistently louder? Since when is louder better? Singing louder, or in other words, yelling doesn’t make one’s singing better than another person’s. Yes I have seen Key’s live performances and you shouldn’t mention Immortal Song 2 because Key was never on Immortal Song, only Taemin and Jonghyun were. So there’s no Key performance on Immortal Song. I don’t know what on point means because…how is he point? In what way?

        I am going to be super honest. I am not particularly a fan of Taemin’s. As a fan of SHINee, I’ve always liked Onew and Jonghyun more just in general so this isn’t me talking because I prefer Taemin over Key because I don’t. This is me being real. There’s no talk of the other members’ vocal improvements over the years simply because none of them have improved as obviously and as massively as Taemin. Jonghyun barely got better but he did, Onew did too but Taemin went from a weak vocalist to being able to support and then to produce resonance, no other weak vocalist has done that EVER from what we’ve seen. Jonghyun minimized his tongue tension but still has it, both he and Onew got better at connecting their vocal cords, stabilizing their pitch, producing resonance and whatnot, but Taemin went from no support at all which is a massive change in technique. Onew and Jonghyun at least had the basics of support down. Key and Minho still can’t support properly which is very common for most non-lead and non-main vocalists of idol groups, even with solo vocalists and even some main and lead vocalists too.

        MR removed videos are irrelevant to good singing because nobody’s singing is good when they sing and dance at the same time. In no vocal lesson EVER are you going to be singing a song while running or dancing. So it is unfair to judge someone’s singing based off of their live singing while they’re dancing. This goes for EVERYONE. Some people can do it, but most can’t.

        Honestly please don’t ever use the word stable when talking about someone’s singing because what does that mean? Stable could mean not pitchy, it could mean a clear vibrato, it could mean not sounding shaky, it could mean better at sustaining notes, it could mean many things but “his singing live is more stable” is vague and says nothing. The point is, this video does nothing to show that Key’s singing is better than Taemin’s and honestly speaking it barely does anything to show Taemin’s singing is worth anything either.

        Taemin lacks in terms of musicality, he doesn’t play much with his vocal effects nor dynamics, but he has technique. Being able to project more than someone else by using tension, by yelling, by shouting, by using more of their throat muscles, by being tense, it means nothing. Yes Key can be heard, Key can project but he is unable to breathe properly for singing or support his voice. He does not know how to manage the proper airflow between the air that comes from his diaphragm and his vocal cords. That is most basic thing one needs to do when singing, and Key regardless of being a baritone or tenor, can’t do it. Now it is unfair for him to have to mix as high as the other tenors constantly, because it puts him at a disadvantage where he’s tense all the time but…him being louder than Taemin sometimes here and there means nothing. If you watch Taemin on Immortal Song 2, his singing is clear, his throat is opened, his pitch is good, his dynamics aren’t bad, he has really good support and really good placement, being able to produce resonance. Key has no sense of breath support, in studio or live. So in no way is Key a better vocalist than Taemin. Neither of them have real issues with pitch constantly, I don’t usually get bothered by their pitch. It’s just literally vocal technique. There’s nothing that Key does that Taemin can’t do more properly. Taemin might not perform the best on SHINee songs though, because he does become less opened on those songs than he would on his own material or Immortal Song 2, but again as long as Taemin is supporting and Key isn’t, there’s no comparison. So I completely disagree that Key should be above Taemin or that Taemin cannot sing well live.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. … I probably shouldn’t ask buuuuuut

        So Key doesn’t support at all? I always figured he was pretty good for a non-lead vocalist and at least W to A but as I’ve said before my ears are unreliable.

        “There’s nothing that Key does that Taemin can’t do more properly.” Since Taemin has a weak chest register, is it really still better than Key’s? I’m not arguing that Key is better, it’s always been pretty clear to me he’s not. Actually I’m not arguing at all, I hope this doesn’t come off as argumentative, I’m just curious. On the same note, is Taemin’s falsetto better than Key’s? As far as I can tell neither exhibits a head voice.

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      4. Taemin has support, it doesn’t matter to me that Key can produce more tone than Taemin below E3, because Key can’t support that range at all. Taemin can produce tone down to G2 as well, Key can produce tone down to E2, but production of tone without support is irrelevant. It does not come off as an argument, it comes off as a question. I decided to post that reply on the video and someone said what I said was hilarious and that most people agree they’re pretty close vocally and then proceeded to ask me if Taemin and Onew are the same vocally and if so, how. These fans are…ugh. As for head voice/falsetto, Taemin’s falsetto can be more relaxed, Key sounds like he uses a high larynx most of the time.

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      5. Lol love the gif.

        So since Taemin’s lower register is better than Key’s even though Key is a baritone, you probably want to update this line?

        “Amongst SHINee members, he possesses the weakest and least supported lower register.”

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    2. I think you were meaning to post this video

      I’ve talked to the channel creator and he/she asked me to point out where Key strains in the video and when I did she/he admitted there was strain but then used the “everyone strains at some point” argument I explained how yes that’s true probably every male singer does strain/lose support at a point but where Key starts straining is less acceptable even accounting that he’s a baritone they stopped replying so yeah

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      1. Hey Ahmin, I saw that twitter thing about vague and the above comment about Key. This dumb comparison is so overplayed. Instead of putting down others’ faves, tweet to your fave and link him the effing analysis so he can get his act together if he wished to. Honestly, if fans wanted to, they could mass tweet something like ”Keyimprove” or ”Keysaveyourvoice”.

        However, this whole fiasco led me to an important question. How can I detect throatiness in my own singing? How do I know I am singing in my throat?

        That’s it for my question. I also want to add (I’m no expert) that Key being louder than Taemin has a something to do with mic placement. This is one of my theories. In the above video about vocal rankings (where Taemin barely sang), Key held the mic close to his mouth. Taemin had it farther (newsflash, people, he was resonating so he put it farther). I think that if Key and Taemin were to sing E4s or F4s in a room with no mics or something, Taemin would drown Key with resonance. So in reality, who wins? Same thing if you put Kyu and Changmin together. Same thing.

        P.S. I saw your vibrato video, but I still don’t get something. Do I have to pinch my belly or something above my belly and below my chest?

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      2. Mhmm that’s a difficult question. When you’re singing, if you’re used to something, without an unbiased experienced third party, it can be difficult to detect things on your own. It’s easier if you record yourself and listen back but even then it can be difficult. Usually you go for the quality of sound and sensation in your throat, sing softly then add volume and see how much more effort you’re making to add volume. You don’t have to pinch anything really…for vibrato. Just feel the vibration, allow the vocal cords to move.

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      3. Just another thing, this video is horrendously biased. Correct me if I’m wrong, but those videos are from the dvd concerts, which screams lack of research. If you’re going to analyze live singing, either do it like the blog’s crew or don’t do it at all. These people get fancams from throughout the year, not two specific moments. Second, the person behind the video really hates Taemin or simply dislikes his voice. Minho had 1 -2 min of singing time, OnJong had 4 – 5 minutes, Key had 3 – 4, Taemin hardly made 1 minute. Another reason this is biased, the listing itself is more geared to taste than a specific kind of criteria.

        I just wish people cut the hate. I’m proud of all of them. Minho knows he can’t rap like other rappers, but he writes his own stuff at the least and sings when the group needs it from him. Key isn’t as skilled as before but he gives his 500% in lives and sings as high and low as the group needs him to. Taemin could have settled for being a weak vocalists wit awesome dance skills. He went from zero to hero vocally,. Onew didn’t need to but he still evened out his head voice and lower range, Jonghyun could have stopped at C3-G#4, but he went and got a head voice and extended to F#5. They all do their part and carry the group in distinct ways. I’m not a Shawol or a full – blown Kpop fan but I, unlike other people, appreciate effort and hard work.

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    3. Oh ok it was really confusing me. Actually I’m still kinda confused. So Taemin has a better sense of support, even in his lower range, since Key doesn’t support at all. However Key’s is naturally more developed for the muscle coordination since he is a baritone and Taemin is a taemin?

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      1. Taemin’s chest muscles may not be as developed as Key’s, but he supports which makes any part of his range more properly in use than any of Key’s.

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  21. Hi Ahmin and other admins,

    I just came her after seeing the MAMA 2016 Awards. I had a question about the supported notes in Taemin’s performance. It was dubbed. But still, if it’s not too much trouble, I want to know. Here are the time stamps
    1: 48 – 1:50, 2:03 – 2: 12 Supported/Resonant
    2:33 – 2:48 You should keep this for research.
    3: 49 – 3: 51, it’s supported but something is off about his vowels
    4:19 – 4:24, Supported and Brief? I still felt something was off.

    P.S. MAMA 2016 was lit! I generally like all MAMA. I loved BTS Perf. the most, I thought it was the best and most cohesive piece. EXO drolled on for too long and felt too segmented for my tastes.All the links are up by now peeps.

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    1. 4:19 sounded like Leo to me, it was a high larynx, 1:48 there’s support but there’s also some throat on the Bb4’s, the aye Bb4 T 3:49 was tight too and 2:03 again some support but there’s throat too. LOL yes further research LOL

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  22. Hi! If you guys were to pick 2 or 3 songs that actually showcased their vocals best, what would they be? (yep, I’m talking about SHINee as a whole here ^^)

    PS: This blog is awesome. I am a shawol but I wanted some honest technical comments like this ;3; It’s refreshing.

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    1. Oh damn that’s a hard question. I think 떠나지못해 was a good song for them but for all 5 members, it’s difficult when they’re very different vocally and the baritones, Key and Minho, are always at a disadvantage. Honesty is an easy enough song as well, Life too. They stay within a more reasonable range overall.

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    2. I’m certainly not as technical or as professional as Ahmin but I’d like to add some songs to the ones he gave. These may not be where the absolute best singing is, but rather where the song has good singing parts for all five members. Perhaps this draws me to songs in which I think Minho does well/ has good parts, because he is the weakest and he can lift the overall level of the song with good parts. Live unless stated:

      1000 Years, Always By Your Side
      Keeping Love Again
      (These two songs from the ‘Music For All, All For One’ concert in 2012 are still two of my all time favourite SHINee performances.)
      There are loads of others too:
      Moon River Waltz
      Colors of the Season
      Farewell my Love (not live)
      I’m With You
      Your Number

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  23. I always see some comments saying how their bias will ‘pull a taemin’ but some people also said it’s a bit late in the game since they are not young anymore. Is it possible to make any massive improvements considering their ages?

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    1. Pulling a Taemin never had anything to do with anyone’s age. It’s strictly to do with technique and quick improvement so anybody could do it!

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  24. Hi! You said in ur analysis, taemin would be a good vocalist purely based off his mixed range. Are there any other vocalists who would have a SIGNIFICANTLY better rating just based off one register, I’m looking (hypothetically) for eg weak vocalists who have a competent head voice (probs impossible) etc

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    1. I mean it’s not something I think about often, but Kyungsoo and Baek Yerin would be rated higher based on their mixed voices. Same for Jung Yonghwa’s lower range.

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  25. Thank you for your analysis, it must take a lot of work for this chart. I don’t know about the vocal technique like you guys, but I agree with you a lot.

    I’m so happy that Taemin is in the Above Average to Proficient Vocalist rating. This is the boy who in his debut time couldn’t sing a note probably, only cast because of his great dancing skill. But he worked so hard to become the Taemin today, that make me wanna cry.

    Kpop Idol is not only about the voice, but the whole package. Taemin is transform from a boy who can only dance, barely sing, bad entertainment skill on TV, to become an Idol who has great dancing skill, good singing skill, stage presence, and can carry the show by himself. I’ve never seen an idol who grows that far since debut.

    Actually in Shinee, I love Onew’s voice the most. I always like his clear voice and easy singing style. Jonghyun gets better vocal than Onew and Taemin, but sometimes I like Taemin soothing voice more than Jonghyun. When I watch their concert, I always was like, whoa, how can they do that, how can they sing more than 30 songs in 3 hours (with hard dancing) and still be great. People always say Kpop Idol is not artist, but I think that’s hard working attitude is truly artist there.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thank u Ahmin for this analysis. I had no idea Taemin had such massive improvements in his vocals. Also, thanks to you, I’m beginning to learn much more about vocal pedagogy. I was curious, but how would a belted Bb4 and B4 from a male singer compare to a female belting range. And, also I was curious on how to improve my mixed range like Taemin. I know somewhat how to breathe from the diaphragm. I try to expand instead of compressing from my diaphragm whenever I belt. I try to keep my tongue, shoulders, and jaw steady, but i feel like sometimes, throat tension comes up every once in awhile. What would be a proper way to breathe from my diaphragm because I feel as if that’s a main issue I have whenever I belt? Thanks. And sorry for asking so much.

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    1. Well see you’re not being specific here. There’s no such thing as a male voice and a female voice since there are sub-voices for males and females. Of course assuming you’re a soprano and since Taemin is a tenor, what I can tell you is that Bb4/B4 is REALLY high. It’s in the F5 ~ G5 range for a soprano. Well I would have to hear you to tell you, but you must always develop a good strong vocal stretch by singing and mixing lightly first then adding volume after you’ve secured support. Most people try to belt too soon and end up creating bad habits of pushing.

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  27. Thanks Abmin! You replied so quickly. Sorry for not being specific enough. I’m actually a tenor. I meant comparing it to light lyric tenor and light lyrics soprano. I realized that I’ve been pushing my voice too early, Thank you for the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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