E2 ~ G5 (3 octaves, 1 note and 1 semitone)
E3 ~ E4/F4
- Able to switch comfortably into falsetto register
- Voice is very light and sits comfortably in a one octave range which he sings in mostly
- He is able to support a bit of his lower range down to E3 and D3 at times
- Notes up until E4 and F4 are oftentimes relaxed and not very squeezed
- Able to stay mostly in pitch with his falsetto
- Intonation has improved from debut, as well as falsetto register
- Lower range isn’t exactly breathy
- Nasality is a very present part of his singing, unwanted unintentional uncontrolled nasality, he literally sings through his nose most of the time
- Intonation is still a problem and can many times become flat and pitchy
- Vocal runs aren’t very smooth or produced through separating every note, pitch isn’t precise either
- Tends to raise his larynx and squeeze his throat very low in his range
- Unable to correctly support his voice, notes above F4 are often strained and whiny
- Narrow supported range
- Underdeveloped vocal registers
- Falsetto is often breathy and disconnected
- Lower range is often quiet and not a well explored register
- Instability at times present in his voice
- Absence of vibrato
- Breath support isn’t very evenly controlled
- Lower register: Very unstable lower range, with a lack of extension on that part. Notes around E3 and below lose volume but not exactly cord connection. Although that’s a plus, the volume drop and lack of projection is quite evident on notes below E3.
- Mixed register: very underdeveloped overall. His larynx has the tendency to shoot up very low in his mix, he will often squeeze his throat and project his mixed register through his nose, straining through most of his range. However so, he does not tend to try and sing much outside of his comfortable mixed range, ending around F4 to G4, which does not hurt his voice as much.
- Upper register: Breathy and not well controlled, at times he will be able to smoothly transition into his falsetto, but many times his falsetto will be either very unprojected and breathy, or just very nasal and thin. His control of his falsetto often becomes unbalanced in pitch due to how squeezed his throat is when singing in this register. However so, he’s been able to produce more well placed falsetto notes than in other registers, such as his F#5’s in “Love You To Death”.
His voice is that of a light lyric tenor, which in theory should allow for easier vocal runs to come about. Taeyang draws a lot of influence from R&B music and hence often sings vocal runs, but they lack a lot in terms of note separation and pitch accuracy, often hitting flat or off key notes, or simply sliding through notes in a vocal runs without actually emphasizing each individual pitch in his vocal runs. This area is one that needs most work due to the style of music he chooses to sing, which requires vocal agility and ornamentations.
According to YG entertainment and fans alike, Taeyang is Big Bang’s main vocalist. As such, he’s also been given many chances to go solo and has had a very successful and popular career as part of Big Bang and as a soloist. Taeyang’s voice is very smooth and light, often showing that his influence is R&B, since his tone sounds very R&B-like, such as Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Usher. He is a light lyric tenor, therefore his voice is supposed to be able to handle higher ranges and sit more comfortably in a higher area than where he usually sings in. Following the YG formula, however, Taeyang shows more artistic freedom and feels more like an entertainer and dancer than a vocalist. He explores his musical side, but his vocal skill lacks and didn’t improve much since debut until now. He is Big Bang’s weakest vocalist, much like 2NE1, where the main vocalist isn’t the strongest vocalist in the group.
Taeyang’s lower register is a very under-explored register overall. On notes in between E3 and B3, his voice seems to sit very comfortably and it’s usually as low as he sings. On occasion he will transition lower and hit notes below E3 down to C#3, but most of the time his volume will drop and his voice will sound shaky and unsure. He lacks control also in pitch the lower he goes, which can be caused due to the lack of breath support and the vocal runs that descend into his lower register. He doesn’t go lower than C#3, which isn’t very low for any male, which may show a lack of confidence and comfort in that register. His voice, as a tenor, however sits slightly higher in range and although the natural tenor tessitura should be able to handle C3 and above, those voices start to shine more into the upper third octave and mostly when they hit the fourth octave.
In his mixed register, Taeyang often sings very comfortably and often around C4 to E4 and quite constantly will hit notes around F4 and G4 in more dramatic climaxes. One of Taeyang’s biggest issue here is how his voice isn’t properly supported and how he intakes breath too often in very short periods, not allowing for his diaphragm to fully expand and support his voice to create a better produced and fuller tone in his voice. Taeyang’s larynx also tends to go higher on F#4’s and G4’s, losing tone and starting to sound quite strained. Anything from G4 up to C5 is often very strained and squeezed with his swallowing muscles and throat closing around his vocal cords. However so, he doesn’t often go that high because his songs don’t require him to and he seems to know his voice well enough to know where he can comfortably sing and where he can’t. It’s quite hard to find songs where Taeyang actually belts and sustains high notes. Examples include his belted Bb4’s in “하루하루”, his A4’s in the bridge of “Fantastic Baby” and his G4’s in “눈, 코, 입”.
The falsetto register is more often used than the belting register and it feels like a safer, more comfortable register for him. Notes in this register are often more relaxed and confident, but lack in terms of production and projection. Throughout the years he’s been able to improve his ability to more smoothly transition into this register, but has yet to learn to explore the fullness of this register. For the style of music Taeyang sings, the thinner more nasal falsetto often feels like a better stylistic choice, but by the sound of the tone produced, the throat being squeezed can clearly be heard. His falsetto can at times be cleaner and more well placed than his other registers, but still lacking in terms of support and resonance. He can also sound slightly uncontrolled and flat in this register, more often than his other registers.
Taeyang’s biggest flaw as a vocalist is his nasality. Nasality, breathiness, throatiness and such, can all be vocal effects done depending on the genre of music one sings, however those can only be considered stylistic choices when they are, as mentioned, choices, in other words, singers choose to sing that way but can also choose to sing differently if they like. Taeyang’s never shown the ability to control his nasality, which along with his lack of breath support, directly affect his lack of ability to produce fuller, better placed resonant notes. Most of the times Taeyang projects and sings through his nose, one of his most noticeable vocal flaws, which causes his voice to be very thin and small in tone overall as well. Another flaw that shows a lack of ability to relax his voice and support it properly is the absence of vibrato, which is just not there in his singing. Vibrato is often produced by the relaxation of the vocal cords along with proper breath support, both inexistent in his singing. Another flaw is his pitch which will at times go off in many performances. An example would be the live performance of “You’re My“, where his transitions into falsetto and back brought him off key and off pitch.
Overall, Taeyang is much more of an artist than he is a vocalist. He’s learned to use his voice comfortably in a narrow supported range which is used effectively to sell and promote his music. He does not heavily try and promote himself as a vocalist, instead, focusing more on a the performance side of his music, often by dancing and giving a good show. He is an artist who’s very successful in Korea and even though he might lack in vocal skill, the direction his music takes isn’t about being the most vocally capable vocalist out there, but instead a smooth sexy R&B performer focusing on choreography, which he will always deliver very effectively.
Taeyang most of the time will not change much of the melody of his songs, but will add energetic movements and runs through the stage by screaming and bringing the energy up. On ballads, however, he will at times try and add different vocal runs or change the melody, but it will be mostly flat or feel out of place. However so, most of the time he tends to sing without changing much or taking too many risks, which helps his music be delivered more effectively to his audience.
Weak to Average Vocalist
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: 2NE1Bang
Best Vocal Performance
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
(Originally analyzed by Chung)