Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Seohyun [Newly Updated]

Seohyun

Vocal Range

C3 ~ C#6 (3 octaves and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ B4/C5

Voice Type

Light Lyric Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Made good progress from debut until now
  • Musicality has improved since debut
  • Intonation is mostly on point, rarely goes off pitch within her supported range
  • Able to consistently show support up until B4 and C5, at times with resonance
  • Resonance has been present in her voice, even if not consistently
  • Able to use a pure connected head voice as high as F5
  • Lower range is more somewhat developed, able to support G3’s at times
  • Due to the headiness of her mix, strain isn’t as apparent
  • One of the fewer K-pop Sopranos to have mixed a G#5
  • Breath control has improved since debut
  • Voice becomes very comfortable and placement is better when singing Jazz/Musical Theatre
  • Able to produce a healthy even vibrato

Weaknesses

  • Notes below G3 are generally quieter and gradually become airier in tone
  • Nasality is still a factor and part of her singing voice
  • Her notes above C5 become inconsistent and often pushed
  • Mixed voice is overly heady, voice lacks power and stability above D5
  • Head voice isn’t used as often as she could, voice becomes airy too often
  • Vocal runs are often messy and out of place
  • Diction can come in the way from her singing and openness
  • Aye (애) vowel can be an issue in her upper mix
  • Vibrato becomes unstable and uneven above her supported range, or often even absent

Registers

  • Lower register: Although not fully developed, her tone is very present even as low as F#3 and sometimes F3. Her voice only shows consistent support starting from G#3 and at times G3, showing improvement since debut.
  • Mixed register: Her voice is supported and consistently able to sing with a relaxed tone up until the B4 area and C5 as well, even though at times the voice may show tension on C5. Straining only really happens as she ascends above C5, where her mixing is uneven and her larynx raises.
  • Upper register: Head voice is present and is connected, although falsetto is more used stylistically, her voice is able to stay connected into a supported head voice up until F5 and can still stay connected above F5, even though tension is added.

Agility

Possessing a light voice, Seohyun’s voice finds itself more capable of doing vocal runs and does not have as many issues with it. At times her voice can handle easy vocal trills and isn’t incapable of traveling through notes quickly, even if the precision in pitch may be weak, such as in “Sometimes“. When her voice is required to handle more intricate runs, her ability to quickly move in between notes becomes compromised and her pitch is often loose, her runs messy and sloppy, and her separation of pitch is not precise. An example of this would be her run into F5 and descending down from the chorus of “Dancing Queen” and many of the vocal runs in her cover of “Jack“.

Overall analysis

One of the most well known groups in current Korea, Girls’ Generation is birth to many talented members and Seohyun would be no exception. Vocally speaking, the group is composed of 9 members, which creates pros and cons, giving more members the title of main and lead vocalist, but also making members too comfortable with not singing main and not having to better themselves. As a lead vocalist, Seohyun’s challenges were never as big as the main vocalists, Taeyeon and Jessica, but more recently she has gone out of her way to improve herself and has shown it very well in her vocal performances and in musical numbers. Her voice is naturally bright and light, with a girly tone, very much like every other member of Girls’ Generation she is a light lyric soprano, with a three octave range.

The bottom of Seohyun’s range is very extensive and can go down as low as C3, as she does in “처음이었죠”, however so her voice only really truly gains tone around E3, F3 and F#3. Her tone is present in the lower parts of her range, but the support is gained around G3 and G#3. Her range below G3 is often quiet, slightly clouded up by the lack of projection and tone and the vocal cords often don’t come together very well, causing her notes to many times come out as air, such as the E3’s “Girls” and the F3’s in “Day By Day”. As she ascends up to G#3, support can be clearly heard and her voice is consistently connected and well placed projecting quite well even if not as well as it could be if it had more chest resonance, such as in songs like “Diamond” and “OMG”. Her tone and support are slightly on the light side and lack in true depth in color due to lack of chest resonance in her singing.

The brightness of her voice is only further accentuated as she ascends in range. Even when singing above her supported range, Seohyun’s voice shows very little signs of strain to the head dominance in her mix. Her mixing, however, has improved since debut, becoming more powerful and more balanced, allowing for better use of dynamics and resonance. Her voice can often be very light and lack tone in her mix, but she has shown that she can produce resonance and support her voice, even as high as C5, such as in “Stuff Like That There” and her musical performance of “I Loved You“. Her overall support can be present at times even as high as C#5 and sometimes good placement is kept as high as D5 as well, such as in “I Loved You” and some occasional live performances of the japanese version of “Run Devil Run”. Due to the vowel being “Ah (아)” in the japanese version of “Run Devil Run”, her voice is able to show more of an opened sound, as opposed to the “Aye (애)” sound used in the Korean version of the song. The “Aye (애)” vowel is often an issue for vocalists, causing their throats to close and tension to happen. Tension in Seohyun’s voice can at times happen around C5 and above, where her throat will show signs of tension and tighten around her larynx when trying to sing higher, becoming more apparent as she ascends in range, such as the D5’s in “아파도 괜찮아요” and her E5 in “Winter Wonderland“. The resonance in Seohyun’s mix isn’t always present however, due to her showing an inconsistency with lifting her soft palate, causing nasality to often be present in her mix even though strain may not happen. Her mix becomes more thin and less balanced as she ascends in range, notably when hitting the F#5’s of “Twinkle” and the G#5’s of “Problem”, where her voice becomes closed, strained and lacks volume and projection.

Her head voice is a register she does not use often but has control of, for an example when doing warm up exercises in a video with Ock Joo Hyun, where she shows the ability to perform a major descend triad into a diminished triad starting on C#5 and another starting on F5. She does usually opt for a falsetto and does not show consistency with her head voice when actually singing songs, but is capable of producing a well connected head voice if required to. In the video of “Opera“, where the members of Girls’ Generation try to emulate a more classical style of singing, Seohyun shows connection with a head voice up until Eb5, and was able to stay connected with tension and strain in head voice up to G5 and Bb5. Her head voice may be connected, but issues with strain and support are apparent as she ascends in range, very clear when singing the C6 in her “Gone With The Wind” musical performance, where her vibrato is uneven and the sound is pushed and slightly strangled due to the glottal muscles being tense around her larynx. Her falsetto is often relaxed as high as F#5, however, and she does a good job for the most when transitioning into it.

One aspect of Seohyun’s voice that has improved is her ability to play with dynamics and sing a song without a single monotonous volume output throughout. Whereas she’d sing just the melody of the song back when they first debuted, more recently when performing “Sometimes” by herself, Seohyun shows more sensibility to vocal effects such as airiness and also with softer dynamics. This skill has only been further developed by her interest in Musical Theatre, such as in “What Do You Know About Love” from Gone With The Wind, where she was able to showcase her control of dynamics, an opened non-nasal sound, a steady supported tone throughout her voice and an even, controlled healthy vibrato. When singing in a more comfortable range usually from B3 ~ B4, her voice is often well supported and shows control in pitch and projection, such as in “Speak Now“. The downside of her voice however is that still her mixed voice is underdeveloped, causing her to sound strained quite often or lack power and dynamics as she ascends in range, being unable to translate her musicality into the higher and more challenging Soprano range. Although at times she may lack in terms of projection and may place her voice inward more so than outward, her support tends to be consistent and causes her voice not to strain as much as most others would.

As a vocalist and entertainer, Seohyun has shown interest and motivation with good results and was able to show vocal improvement over the years of her career as a member of Girls’ Generation. Although the improved may be small in comparison to the year she’s been actively promoting as a vocalist, due to her seriousness and work ethic, Seohyun’s progress will only developed as she further focuses on her musical identity and perhaps discovers herself when singing Musical Theatre. For the future, balancing her mixed voice would be advised, as well as consistently being able to place her voice forward and being able to show support throughout her range into a connected head voice. Hopefully Seohyun can showcase more of her singing in the future and will be able to further improve her voice to truly show the colors still hidden behind the parts of her voice that are yet to be fully developed.

Musicianship

Seohyun is many things when singing and has improved a long way, but one thing she is not is a huge risk taker with improvisation. She is very good at keeping her ear out for music and being able to adapt to different styles with enough sensibility to sound, but she is not one to deviate much from the original composition of songs, where she will preferably sing the original melody and work more on the actual interpretation, rather than altering the original song. However so, she does possess good skills when it comes to harmonization and being able to stay in pitch and blend her voice in well with others when singing with them, such as the TaeTiSeo performance of “Cater 2 U“.

Rating

Average to Above Average Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

(Originally analyzed by: zhx)

About ahmin3

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

299 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Seohyun [Newly Updated]

      1. Okay so I know this is kind of off topic but can a weak vocalist like Sooyoung or Yuri ever become a competent or good vocalist? I hope that made sense lol, thanks!

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      2. So would you say that he is the most improved kpop artist since debut?

        And also, what are some of your favourite kpop songs? Just wondering haha

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      3. Yes Taemin is definitely the most improvement I’ve ever heard in a vocalist. Favorite K-pop songs? Currently I love SNSD’s Lion Heart, Taeyeon’s U R, Ailee’s One More Step and Jonghyun’s End Of The Day. lol

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    1. I don’t really use the word mediocre. For the most part, her low notes in the beginning weren’t so bad at all. They could’ve been better placed that’s for sure. 0:48 that was closed, she could’ve used a much more opened vowel sound for that part. 0:50 could’ve been more opened too, tongue tension is the issue. 0:57 issues with the Eb5, better support and better placement. For the most part, she did fine, she didn’t do bad at all. It was better than the mess that ChoA did when performing this song, so I wouldn’t call it mediocre. I would just say it was okay, it wasn’t good. She could’ve used much more opened vowel sounds, but it’s also an accent thing that she was trying too hard to sound more “americanized” and wasn’t using good phonetics.

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    1. I’m sorry but they’re two non vocalists in there. All three of them have issues with stability, yes Yoona and Sooyoung are shaky, pitchy and nasal.

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  1. Heard that she has now shown her head voice on the new TTS Christmas EP 😀
    Also in term of resonance, how would you rank the remaining SNSD members beside Taeyeon whom I believe to be the best one?

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  2. Hi, just asking, did taeyeon hit a mixed g#5 in I like the way for dear santa? eh maybe my ears were deceiving me. Thanks in advance!

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      1. Hi Ahmin! Seohyun hit the G#5 in the first chorus of I Like The Way Right? What about Taeyeon’s G#5 on the second chorus? Was it mixed as well? If so does that mean both of them are the ones who can mix G#5?

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    1. It’s hard to be sure honestly. At one point, Seohyun showed better moments than Jessica, during her Musical performances for instance but for the most part they’re always evening each other out.

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  3. Why would you say that the GWTW performance was one of her best. Isn’t it strained? And she uses the headshake to creat vibrato. What are the good points of it?

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    1. The headshake wasn’t more than just a visual effect. It’s one of her best because she produces resonance and is very supported, her tone is strong and forward and she just did very well considering her level. It’s not it’s a performance with no strain, it’s just one of the best of her own personal ability. She strained a few notes yes but she strained E5’s when usually she has issues with C5’s.

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  4. who is her duet partner in the what do you know about love? how do you differentiate both voice? they sound slightly same to me. is it seohyun who take the higher harmony? or the lower one? both sounds good but the higher seems weaker. can seohyun sing in that higher range normally? i mean it is her best perf right?
    please just explain more about the video 😀

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      1. the song title “what do you know about love” which she did in musical “gone with the wind” and it is included in the analysis

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      2. Oh sorry lol I see what song you mean now. Actually Seohyun is doing a really good job at blending in this, she is singing the upper harmony but she is holding back the volume so she doesn’t overpower the other vocalist. I don’t know who she is though. The highest I’m hearing is like B4, so it’s easy for her.

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    1. It was kind of nasal like Seohyun musical mode vs her pop mode is very different, the musical performance she did on the same day was a lot better.

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      1. Do you think Seohyun’s nasality could be stylistic and intentional when she sings pop? Like nasal voices for girls can sound cuter and more girly, which may be what she’s going for when singing pop, while nasality in musicals are less stylistically appropriate.

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    1. 1:40 Sophie #2 was a bit tight on her support, she sings with a very closed diction. Sophie #3 is more opened. They all did nicely, it was not challenging at all for them. I like the harmony at the end.

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  5. Hey I’ve been a little bit curious about the 2nd/3rd/4th vocalists in female groups, they tend to fall in between the category of average and above average vocalists, except for Tiffany who you said she’s “safely average”. So there’s a few questions that I want to ask you, I hope you can help me find the answer:
    1. Are there any other female vocalists you think that fall into the category of Average to Above Average, except for the ones that have been analyzed?
    2. Can you rank all these girls who are in between cause I really can’t tell who’s better and who’s worse? (Jessica, SeoHyun, BoA, HyunYoung, GaIn and YeEun).
    Anyway, thanks for your hardwork (all 3 writers) and everything I really enjoy your blog.

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    1. Well actually most main vocalists are Above Average, some are Competent, most leads are average, some mains are average. A few are weak from both. Tiffany is safely average but she is a lead but so are many other leads. I think for A to AA, maybe ChoA from Crayon Pop? I am not sure though, at all. Seunghee from Oh My Girl is at least that as well, or higher. BoA > Jessica/Seohyun > Yeeun/Minzy > Hyunyoung > Gain

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  6. Hi Ahmin! I’ve always wanted to learn how to sing properly. But whenever I sing, people say I sound like I’m talking? Or like I’m declaring poetry. It hurts because I get insulted for trying to sing. 😦

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  7. Hi. This may some ignorant of me, but since I don’t think it’s stated on the analysis; but she did improve during or after 2012 right? So what major areas or abilities did she actually improve? I mean it’s quite obvious that she did improve, but specifically in what areas?

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    1. I think mostly it was her confidence that changed the way she sang, she became more comfortable with her voice and more stable with her support. Her placement started getting more consistent although it’s still inconsistent and she showed her head voice more.

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    1. She is doing well with support and placement, the “oh” vowels sometimes get a bit closed and she could drop her jaw more to allow more openness, on the B4’s like at 0:20, 0:26 and 0:38, she’s using a lighter vocal approach with more head voice than chest in her mix which may cause the lightness in tone as she gets higher. The range was generally A3 ~ B4, which is an easy range for her and she did pretty much fine, she could’ve been slightly more opened but she did fine, with a quick 1:59 C#5, that thinned out a bit too much.

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  8. Do you guys think Seo will improve if she sticks more to the musical genre? Kinda like Ock Joo Hyun improved since becoming a full musical actress

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  9. Can you rank SNSD’s members’ vocal ability in their debut period
    I notice that Tiffany has improved greatly since her debut, but now her technique is somewhat unhealthy

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    1. Her technique has always been like that, her mix used to be lighter/brighter during debut but she was so unstable, so pitchy. She was maybe weak to average back then or borderline average. Seohyun was average and Jessica has kind of always been slightly high average. Taeyeon maybe above average? She’s always been resonating those C#5s.

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  10. Hello,
    I was wondering, since you wrote that Seohyun is only supported up to B4/C5, does that mean that her D5s in Bump it and her E5s in You Think aren’t supported? If so, why is it that Seohyun’s aren’t supported while Taeyeon’s in both those songs are supported? I’m just trying to train my ear to see the difference.
    Also, on a bit of a separate note, what do you think of the new Korean version of Show Girls? I’m not sure if this is right but I felt that Jessica was the only one, in the Japanese version, who hit that high note (sono te de furiharatte) properly and with enough force.
    Thank you!

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    1. Well yes that’s what it means but Taeyeons E5s aren’t supported either. I’m not sure what you mean by why.. They’re supported.. As in what Taeyeon does physically to support them? I like the Korean version, I mean nobody can mix that G5 well.. Jessica’s just louder than Yuri.

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      1. Hello,
        Oh, I didn’t realize Taeyeon’s E5 wasn’t supported. What I mean by “why” is more just, how can you tell that it’s supported just from listening to it? Because I don’t see much difference in their D5s in Bump it and between their E5s in You Think and was wondering if you had any tips on how to distinguish between supported and not just from listening.
        Thanks!

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      2. Well the D5s you’re talking about are very specific, the ones in the studio version are not actually that different anyway. Taeyeons supported D5s are mentioned in her analysis where she just sounds less constricted. It’s something hard to explain without showing.

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    1. It’s a C#5, it may have been mentioned in the analysis or in the vocal range video. It’s still strained and in this particular performance, it’s actually sadly flat.

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      1. Is that why it sounds less pushed than the 2011 ones? since it was flat so it wasn’t just as high

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      2. Well it was slightly flat, it wasn’t flat enough for it to be a whole new note. Perhaps because she wasn’t trying to push as much, it caused her to go flat but Seohyun was never really known for pushing too hard anyway.

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    1. The quality is horrible but they sound fine. Tiffany sounds tired, flat in the higher notes. 1:44 flat B4, 1:10 flat tight C#5 for Seohyun. 2:04 good support up there but pushed, a bit nasal. 2:45 Sunny kind of pitchy for Sunny, especially after 1:50. 3:05 thinned out E5 for Taeyeon. Nothing really new.

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  11. Seohyun is a good vocalist
    Definitely improving and sounds more mature
    Her voice changed from the intw, gg,kissing you, babybaby era
    In my opinion, she just lack power in her voice or maybe it because her voice naturally really light

    Like her runs in Twinkle, was good but it just lack that power
    Oh and she tends to sound technical
    Its like she sings without any emotion

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    1. Check our future analyses list. Twice’s main and lead vocalists are not bad but they’re not anything more than average for now.

      Like

  12. Can I ask this question? If Girls’ Generation(including Jessica) is one of the top idol group when it comes vocally. I just ask this because they have like 5 members out of 9 who can sing.

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    1. SNSD is one of the better vocal groups overall yes, if we only look at the vocal line of course. They do have a better average with more average vocalists, as opposed to other groups full of weak vocalists.

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      1. I’m sorry but we don’t have the time to listen through a full two hour musical without even knowing what to listen for. We’ve heard some clips of Seohyun’s new musical and she hasn’t shown improvement or anything out of the ordinary.

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      2. Part1
        1) 02:46 – I have a dream
        2) 06:21 – Honey Honey
        3) 25:55 – Thank you for the music
        4) 49:19 – Lay all your love on me
        5) 01:02:06 – The name of the game

        Part2
        6) 02:17 – Under attack
        7) 58:01 – I have a dream

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      3. Again that’s a lot of songs to check and we are busy so I need a reason to check. Did you or the user hear anything in these songs that’s different than anything described in the analysis?

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  13. What do you think of Seohyun’s cover of Popular at her birthday bash last year? As well as the covers from her birthday bash a few days ago. I’d especially like to see know Seohyun’s cover of Stress measured up to the original.

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    1. I mean Seohyun has more ease than Taeyeon in her higher mix but that’s cause she’s headier and lighter in her approach. She lacks power and openness, something I noticed in all that jazz. Nothing new to report from these covers.

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  14. hello! hope you guys are all doing ok. Just wanted to ask if she just sounds like she is resonant throughout because of the audio quality. Its in a comfortable range for her but then she doesnt usually show consistent resonance so im just curious 🙂 from like 0:30 til however long you feel like listening

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    1. I don’t really hear resonance, I hear a lack of nasality and a good amount of support. She sounds relaxed and somewhat opened.

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      1. Hyorin sang this song a semitone lower than the original key, so she did not hit a G5, she hit an F#5. Regardless, it was still strained.

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  15. hi there! so tts made an appearance in kcon la lately,and they performed a couple of songs

    (their singing is from 5:00 till the end)
    i want to know how they did here,if there were any improvements or they sang worse than they usually do.

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    1. There were no improvements. Someone posted this on the Taeyeon AND the Tiffany analyses with time stamps and the only difference was their condition being better, their singing is the usual in terms of technique. Same usual strengths and issues.

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  16. Hey I just noticed that you mentioned in her upper resgister area : “her voice is able to stay connected into a supported head voice up until F5” but it isn’t mentioned in her supported range? is there a reason behind it or is it just a typo?

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  17. Hello. Based on Seohyun’s current rate of improvement these last few years and assuming she continues to improve at this rate, by what month/year do you think she’ll reach the above average category? btw is she closer to average or above average? thanks

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    1. Singing doesn’t work that way, this isn’t working out. It’s not like you can set a goal for a body type you’d like and if you work out with a specific routine you’ll get to that goal within 5 to 10 months. I’d have to know her personally and know that she’s progressing steadily while practicing regularly. If she’s not practicing properly, singing the same way for years won’t make you improve your singing. You’d have to have a proper singing and practice routine which target your weaknesses and help you improve and without the right instructor, there’s no way to know if she’s been working towards. Seohyun’s improvement has been very slow as well and inconsistent, so I’m sorry to say but there’s no way I can give you a prediction on this. It’d be based off of too many assumptions and I don’t know her personally, I don’t know her daily routines. I can only say from what I hear and from what I hear, it could take years or it could take weeks. I apologize.

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  18. Why Seohyun doesn’t have Supported range (with headvoice) while you guys said that she can have pure connected head voice to Eb5.
    And I want to ask at 0:41, did she used head voice or mixed voice? It’s C#5 and sounds so similar to her chest voice

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  19. Just saw that one of her strengths was “Only Girls’ Generation member who has mixed a G#5” which is not true now since Taeyeon did it in her new album this year lol 😄

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    1. I don’t mean to be rude, but why are you asking a question related to Sunny and Tiffany on Seohyun’s analysis? This question has been asked quite a few times on Tiffany’s and Sunny’s analyses and if you went through the comment section of Sunny’s analysis, you’d find the answer. ^ ^ The answer is Sunny.

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  20. Hello!
    There is a recent perfomance by Seohyun with a few runs, head voice transitions and some B4/C5s (and other notes outside of her supported range). I wanted to know how well she did, so can you do a quick analysis on this, please?

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    1. Seohyun does well with Ariana songs because she’s heady like her. This isn’t really new, because this was during her birthday party. 0:27 0:53 2:03 2:05 her runs are just sliding. 1:01 strained heady E5. 1:08 her D5’s aren’t bad, they have decent coordination, they just lack proper support. 1:29 Her B4’s are fine. 2:16 could be a lot more opened. 2:18 tight high larynx F5’s, but hey her mixing is still pretty light. There’s nothing in this performance that’s different from usual Seohyun. She sounds mostly heady, a bit too airy, a bit too nasal, throughout. Pitch is mostly fine aside from the runs. Transitions aren’t bad, nothing new really.

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      1. Sadly, it’s not a joke, I always think that vocal range is the highest and lowest note an individual can reach, so why don’t you count that Bb6 as a part of her vocal range.

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      2. Because it’s a scream, it’s not sung. If this counted as part of Seohyun’s range, a high squeak, then Jessica’s range would be up to G#7 (considering her squeaks are actually sustained) and Taeyeon’s range would include at least F6. Shrieking a high noise doesn’t mean you can actually sing it yet. A strained sung note is still a sung note and therefore can be counted as range, but a squeak is not.

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      3. @bubbule, Hello! Just a blog viewer here, but for this blog’s standards, vocal range only includes “singable notes” meaning if it is just a squeak or scream like what Seohyun did it does not count. Here, from the terminology section: “Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.”

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    1. I’m not sure how to reply to this..I think the best way is, don’t worry. If there’s anything new, after watching live performances that show improvement (in case she has any) so we can gather up consistency, analyses are always updated.

      Like

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