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

Vocal Range

C3 ~ C6 (3 octaves)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ Bb4

Voice Type



  • Improvement in mixing from debut until now
  • Transitions have improvement since debut
  • Resonance has happened occasionally in her mixed range
  • Intonation is more consistent and on point now than during debut
  • Able to support her middle voice well and consistently
  • Able to support her mixed voice up until Bb4
  • Notes around F#3/G3/G#3 can at times be well connected and supported
  • Can use head voice at times and is able to connect her vocal cords properly
  • Head voice has become more consistent with her solo debut
  • Has been using head voice instead of straining through songs more

Points for Improvement

  • Not a smart vocalist, often sings songs that are too high for her
  • Intonation is not perfect, can still be pitchy
  • Nasality is often present in her singing
  • Musicianship can often go wrong
  • Larynx raises above B4 and throat becomes tight
  • Yells and pushes too much chest into her mix in the fifth octave
  • Lower range can be inconsistent with support and projection
  • Falsetto can sound too disconnected
  • Voice often sounds closed and pushed due to lack of space in the back of the throat
  • Vibrato is often uneven and throaty


  • Lower register: By far the strongest part of her voice is her lower range. Amongst the Girls’ Generation vocalists, Tiffany’s lower range, alongside Jessica’s, is the one with the most consistent placement and support. She is often able to support her voice down to G#3 and has been able to show support down to F#3 and G3.
  • Mixed register: A register she has learned to control and develop over the years, with significant improvement in extension but not as much in support. Larynx raises around B4/C5 and she starts to sound shouted and strained very early on in her range.
  • Upper register: Transitions into the falsetto register have become much more consistent and smoother with the years, as well as her confidence with controlling this register. The range however is still limited, the sound small and airy, and the projection is limited due to her throat being closed. She has been known to use her head voice a lot more now after her solo debut.


As a very light soprano, her voice is naturally more flexible than a voice that’s heavier in tone. The fact that Tiffany often opts to use a lighter engagement of the vocal cords, which allows for her voice to become flexible without as much effort. As an American-born Korean, Tiffany has been influenced by more of an American singing style which focuses more on high belting and runs, something Tiffany always tries to add into her music. Her agility can often be very well divided and her notes will be clearly different from one another, showing that she has a natural ability to separate notes, which can be clearly heard in the beginning of her 2007 cover of “We Belong Together“. However, such ability is betrayed by her lack of sense of pitch and preparation when doing vocal runs, since often she has the tendency to improvise her lines and adlib, which causes her runs to come out pitchy, sloppy and out of place, such as in “Right There” and “We Found Love“. She has improved this ability however, as shown when she is fully prepared and rehearsed, she can control her runs fairly well within a reasonable slow to mid tempo speed such as in “Lost In Love” and “The Way“.

Overall analysis

Debuting with Girls’ Generation in 2007, Tiffany was always known for her low and husky tone. She has always sung with a more airy tone, which causes a husky impression in her voice, and has, from the beginning, shown more ability in her lower range than in the rest of her range. As a lead vocalist, Tiffany was never highlighted as much as Taeyeon or Jessica and did not receive as many challenging lines in the beginning of her career, something that changed with time and has caused her to be put in the spotlight, something that does not match her actual difficulty in hitting higher notes and therefore could potentially damage her voice in the long run. Even then, her voice sits in a naturally higher place and is placed in the Soprano fach, having a very girly and almost pink-like tone, everything from her style, to her phrasing, to her image, just always has a girly style, something that fits the natural timbre of her voice, more closely being classified as a Light Lyric Soprano.

From the bottom of her vocal range, Tiffany has always highlighted her confidence with her lower range and not shown as much confidence in her upper range. Something that is wise from a vocalist, knowing where your voice stands and something she used to do more than she does not. Tiffany’s lower range is produced with a more husky and sometimes airy tone, but can be very well connected with her vocal cords and can be used to project well in songs. She has, inconsistently, been able to produce supported F#3’s in “Stickwitu” and in “Poker Face“, but other times would become airy and unsupported, such as in “나혼자서“. The actual support is present but the consistency isn’t and she hasn’t shown the ability to support her voice that recently, as much as she used to, losing support around F3, such as in “Bang Bang“. Her range below F#3, however, has generally always been quieter and lost in tone, with an airier tone, less volume and less projection, sounding more unsupported and underdeveloped, such as her D3’s in “반지” and C3’s and D3’s in “처음이었죠 (Love Sick)”. Her consistency is shown, however, from G3 and up, as she has shown support from her G3’s in the “American National Anthem” and”Reflection“, as well as her G#3’s in  “Love Will Show You Everything“.

Her mixed range is one where she has shown considerable improvement on, not in placement or support, but in development of the muscle coordination. The usage of thyroarytenoid muscles for her chest voice and the cricothyroid muscles for her head voice generally help a vocalist blend in the strength of both registers to create the mixed voice, something that with Tiffany wasn’t a confident skill. During the time of their debut, Tiffany would often show her inability to hit high notes with stability and would often opt for songs that either allowed for her to switch into her falsetto or she would just naturally not try to force out high notes, such as the E5’s in “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and the Eb5 in “Can’t Fight The Moonlight“. This would be apparent when she would have to sustain or hit notes in the fifth octave, such as the C5 in”We Belong Together“, where her voice sounds shouted, unstable, throaty and strained. Now this ability has improved over the years, where Tiffany has been able to make a better connection of her vocal cords and stabilize her mix to be able to extend it in range and develop her muscles to hit higher notes, such as the G5 and F5’s in “Lady Marmalade“. The problem still lies, however, on the fact that Tiffany relies on pulling too much chest voice up and using her throat too much, which often causes her mixed voice to sound yelled and loud, without any depth of tone, color or real resonance. Her voice is often very tight and closed around C5, often heard in any song where she’s required to sing that high, such as in “The Way“, as well as when she sustains C5’s, where her larynx with raise and she will use her throat to push out the notes instead of supporting them, such as in “Rolling In The Deep” and “Promise“. This results in her mixed voice and overall upper supported range being very limited in extension, only showing support up to as high as Bb4 consistently, as she’s done since her debut, with “Sometimes“, up until now with “Lost In Love“. Tiffany has occasionally been able to also produce a more opened sound, allowing for resonance in her mixed voice, such as the A4’s in “A Whole New World“.

Her falsetto range is one that has notably also improved in terms of control, whereas, out of fear of not being able to mix the higher mixed notes, Tiffany would often switch into her falsetto during her early years in her career and end up losing control of her voice and pitch, now she’s able to switch and transition with a much more smooth technique and not become completely lost in pitch. Many times, Tiffany would try to sing lines that would transition into falsetto and she would at times be able to control her pitch and even use a connected head voice, such as in”Stickwitu” and “Genie In A Bottle“, but many other times she would go flat, pitchy and not be able to control the overall pitch of her voice, such as in “Sometimes” and”Can’t Fight The Moonlight.” Also, her overall transitions weren’t smooth and she would become shaky in tone and transition into a weak airy falsetto often, such as in “Teenage Dream.” Now she is able to more smoothly switch into her falsetto and transition from her mixed voice when singing full vocal lines, such as in “All My Love Is For You” and “Not Alone.” Although the transitioning of the falsetto register has improved, the register in itself is mostly what she uses in her voice when singing above her mixed voice, and not a connected head voice. Although she has been able to use a more connected head voice a times, the falsetto register is still disconnected and airy, and she often closes her throat as she ascends in range, mostly above F5, such as her A5 in “Almost Is Never Enough” and her G#5/A5 in “여자이니까“, that was quite flat due to the tension existent in her throat. Her head voice has become more consistent over the years, such as in “Cater 2 U” but she still lacks control of it and support isn’t consistent, as shown by her solo promotions with her mini album “I Just Wanna Dance.” Her highest note to date in head voice is her C6 from “I Just Wanna Dance.”

Musically speaking, Tiffany her own style of singing. She has develop her own mellow, girly and fast paced singing style, often adding runs into her songs and playing airiness for effect and different dynamics. Her musically, however, is limited due to the lack of technique in her voice, causing her not to be able to control her volume when outside of her lower range and for her to always need to shout to sing higher notes. Apart from her overall range, Tiffany has improved her overall pitch and control of her voice a lot, shown by contrasting performances like “Heaven” and “The Way“. However so, pitch still can be an issue for her even until today, as well as her vocal placement, which is mostly always in her nose. Tiffany does not show a consistent understanding of how to open the back of her throat properly and lift her soft palate, creating the tension present in her mixed voice, as well as an overall closed and small sound in terms of projection due to her voice being mostly placed in her nose when singing, something that can be more clearly heard when contrasting her singing with someone with a more opened sound and a resonant placement, such as Taeyeon when they sing duets like “Lost In Love” and “Reflection“.

As an artist and vocalist, Tiffany has shown good and consistent slow improvement throughout her career as a member of Girls’ Generation, mostly to do with the basics of singing technique and connection with her voice. Even then, now that she is highlighted as more of the lead vocalist she is in Girls’ Generation and is taking more challenging lines in songs, her voice could be damaged again due to the shouty technique she uses often when singing high notes. If she is to take herself seriously as a vocalist, improving her head voice and training the cricothyroid muscles to further develop a healthier, more balanced use of mixed voice, as well as a more connected and controlled sound overall, would be the most important thing to do for her to be able to sing more challenging vocal lines with a healthy vocal technique as well as having a lasting career as a girl group member and as a possible soloist. As a singer, she has natural talent and potential, all she needs is the right instruction and training so she can develop the full potential of her voice.


A trend that exists in K-pop with idol singers is that mostly Korean-born singers are generally more likely to sing songs they’re intended to, with the right melody and timing, due to growing up in Karaoke culture. American-born singers, however, usually are more likely to add their adlibs to songs and to improvise more, a rule to which Tiffany is no exception. The biggest issue with this habit and trend, however, is that Tiffany has yet to really clean up her musical ideas when doing her adlibs. She oftentimes changes songs and is prepared to perform them with the correct musical changes before she performs them, so the end result is a clean, well thought-through musical change that enhances the musical and melodic message of the song, such as in the last night before the second chorus of “Call Me Maybe“, her falsetto E5 before the chorus of “Cater 2 U“, her lines at the last chorus of “Umbrella“,  to the runs and C#5 before the second chorus of “Stickwitu“. However such an ability is not always well practiced when she does not practice her musical changes before performances and tries to adlib on the spot, showing her lack of a natural ear for music when it comes to improvisations, such as the pitchy and sloppy runs in “We Found Love“, and the “American National Anthem“, although some musical ideas were nice, they weren’t always executed as well as she could due to her faulty technique and many times strain that happened when trying to venture into the 5th octave.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Video by: Avatarkyungsoo

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Re-Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

(Originally analyzed by: zhx)

418 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Tiffany [Newly Updated]

  1. Hi, I was wondering about Tiffany’s performance in this version of Party. I think the note is E5 in the chorus “Here we~ GO” at 1:01 and 2:04

    I’ve never heard her perform that without going into falsetto until I came across this one. The first one seems supported? and the second seems a little shouty but honestly it doesn’t sound bad to me.

    As you can tell, I’m not completely confident in my own analysis, but is she singing this with a headier mix, because I didn’t think she could sing an E5 so casually.


    1. Her throat is squeezed and the note is heavier than her usual chesty approach but still pushed. I’ve heard her mixing it many times before actually. It’s Eb5.


      1. Oh, I guess I may have missed some performances… What do you mean by heavier? I’ve always associated ‘heavy’ with chesty mix but you seem to be saying she sounds heavier with a less chesty mix.

        Lastly, I recall you saying that pushed notes can still be supported, are these notes supported, if not, is it because the sound is coming from her throat?


  2. I wanted to ask about Tiffany’s C5-D5 note in Into the New World, timestamp 3:55.

    Is that her most open live D5 to date? And was the C5 supported?


      1. Woops, sharp by a semi-tone again… How do you know it’s dubbed, the lead up sounded live to me?

        By the way, are there any techniques or exercises I can use to refine my pitching?. With instruments I do have perfect pitch, but if asked to pitch a voice, it becomes significantly more difficult. I also couldn’t sing a C off hand if asked, so unlike other people, I only have the listening part of perfect pitch (not even fully though since it doesn’t apply to a voice).


      2. The lead up sounded live but then the quality of the C#5 was completely different. It sounded like a studio note. So you want to practice sung perfect pitch? Try sight singing.


      3. Oh, I meant getting better at recognising notes, listening more than singing. I’m a pianist and a cellist, so for instruments, I don’t have a problem. Once it is a voice however, I can only hear intervals and not the exact pitch.

        Do you have perfect pitch listening to singers? Or do you have a reference note like (C4) that you’ve had to memorise and compare everything to that note?


      4. That is a HUGE assumption you made just based on one single clip, Imma need you to calm down. Hyorin’s performance of “Spend My Life” was also dubbed because she strained the E5 in the song pretty bad in the real live, so they re-recorded the audio for the official video.

        Does that mean Hyorin can’t hit E5’s live without cracking? lol No, not at all. It just means for this ONE specific performance, she really had an issue with her singing, so they dubbed it. Same thing for that specific C#5, since the actual live must have just not gone smoothly, they probably just re-recorded that one note and dubbed it over the audio of the live performance.
        Your assumption is like “Every kite is a square, therefore every square is also a kite.” Which is just not true. Same thing or this case, one performance where it didn’t work and they needed to dub it does NOT mean she can’t do it ever. I mean they dubbed it with HER voice for a DVD release, she would have to have hit it at least once in her life without cracking to have an audio to be used to dub. You get what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh, sorry I didn’t know what the “dubbed” mean and I assume that means that they played the studio (auto tune version?) and she lip-synced that note. I didn’t know dubbed means editing the live song before posting them. Actually, I didn’t know companies do that to live singing after o.o …

        That’s why I thought she can’t hit a C#5 so the company doesn’t let her sing it live and “dub” it in with a pre-recorded version and get her to lip-sync during the live performance ._,

        Wrong interpretation 😦


      6. Yeah that is why it’s so dangerous to jump to conclusions with misinformation and spread it around, which is why we have to make sure that things like that aren’t misunderstood.


      1. Thank you!

        And one more question lol is Yuri the best out of dance line? and if so why? There were a few people saying if anybody (from dance line) would join the vocal line it’d be her.. sorry if im asking for too much lol


      2. I don’t try to discern who’s slightly more skilled than whom amongst sub vocalists so I am sorry but I don’t know.


  3. Hey Matheus,

    Can you let me know if there is anything wrong with Tiffany’s high note @ 1:30 here:

    I am just seeing Taeyeon’s expression when Tiffany sing that high note, was it bad or too loud or what is going on?



    1. I mean yes the note is strained, so “bad” but is that why Taeyeon made a face? I don’t know. I am not Taeyeon, I can’t really read her mind. lol All I know is the note was loud and Taeyeon took off her in ear monitor, so it might have been too loud in her ears.


  4. Is the reason Tiffany and ChoAs struggling above their supported range is more noticeable to an untrained ear is bc theyre throaty ?? Idk if this has ever been asked but I never noticed how Minah and IU strained until I watch that strain-support video lol but with Tiffany and ChoA it obvious they were having a hard time


    1. ChoA and Tiffany tend to be shoutier and chestier when they strain, and because Tiffany closes her throat even though her mix is brighter than ChoA’s and ChoA’s compresses her throat a LOT, it becomes very obvious. I mean Minah’s C5 from Nothing Lasts on Sketchbook, that was pure strain and throatiness. IU has quite a few of these notes too.


  5. Hi 😀

    I wanna ask about how tiffany does on 3.01-3.02, that ‘one last time’ part 🙂

    Is true that nowadays, it seems like her throat is hurting, or she’s like losing her voice?
    I read it once, and then I just realized that, nowadays tiffany often uses head voice / falsetto than mixed voice (If I’m not mistaken it).
    Example : her part in Holiday chorus which is same with taeyeon, I think she did it (in mcountdown & mucore) not with mixed voice like the one in studio ver?

    She also more often cracking her notes in her mixed voice (if I’m not mistaken it), that’s why I’m worry bout her..

    Thanks before 🙂


    1. That note is a very shouty D5 where she cracked because she was not mixing properly and pushing too hard. I mean Tiffany has been doing that for a while now, using head voice instead of belting because her mix has become uncomfortable and she knows better than to strain. I mean this isn’t new, this has been happening for a while.


      1. Oh okay, it’s better then if she knew what she lack of and dont push it,,, for her health..

        But one more question, is it true that her throat is hurting recently or she is just use head voice/falsetto in her will?

        I know only Tiffany knows this accurately, but I also think if you know as vocal instructor 🙂


      2. Dear you’re asking me a question that I can’t answer unless she says that directly herself. I can’t guess if her throat is hurting or not if I’m not her, it’s beyond my capabilities as a non-clairvoyant.


      3. Hahaha LOL 😂😂
        I’m sorry for asking a question that only her can answer it..

        I think there’s a sign or something but I totally wrong about it 😀
        Thanks for answering btw, I just wish the best for her 😁


  6. hey this is a question regarding your site, but when you guys update a singers post, can you make a timestamp of /when/ it was newly updated? Like [Newly Update 8/16] or putting “Updated as of 8/16/17” at the bottom of the post? Every time I see a singer with [Newly Updated] in their description hit the “most viewed pages” section, it makes me think they were updated recently lol…

    At the top of the post, it says it was posted May 2015, but I’m guessing you updated it after then? I dunno though, but it would be probably just be helpful for all parties involved for clarity LOL. If it already says somewhere, call me blind lol cuz I must be missing it~!


    1. Oh no no newly updated is just a stamp to analyses that were rewritten from our poor old format into our new one years ago, but we don’t stamp updates even if we make them. We do update them after, like I recently updated Shannon’s analysis with her new album songs, but I didn’t necessary label it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello, I’ve been a reader quite a time and I always forget to ask. She doesn’t actually have a connection with Tiffany, but I thought they resemble each other by looks. But my question, if you look at the performances of Kim ChungHa (former member of I.O.I), do you think she’s a vocalist that will be analyzed? I know, she’s quite new to the industry, but is she at least worthy for a analyze (I guess that’s the way you put it, if not, idk xd)?
    Also, where would you rank Yu Yeonjung and Kim Sejeong on your list?

    Thanks for your time, here’s a video of ChungHa slaying:


    1. I would rather not rate them without analyzing them but they will be analyzed eventually. Chungha has a pretty voice but not very strong support nor technique. I have no plans of analyzing them personally. Sorry about that.


  8. Can I know why at the vocalist ranking in this blog.. Tiffany got high place than IU?? I know Tiffany & IU rated as Average Vocalist but at the ranking vocalist.. Tiffany got higher place than IU. Out there has a lot of people said that IU is much better Singer than Tiffany. Can you explain it?


    1. Yes and here is a person that thinks tiffany is a better vocalist but you cant trust fans opinions and unjustified statements.listen to them at least they know these and can prove it


  9. I am askng this sincerely like i am literaly curious to know (not attacking anyone).So i ve read quite some of your reviews of vocalist and clearly you are an expert on this subject so all these things do you yourself know how to actually do them.Do you sing?Are you a better vocalist than them?Do you think k-vocalists know these flaws too?


    1. I would rather not compare myself to any of these vocalists as that’s hardly productive. I do sing, I’m a vocal instructor. The team page says that, we don’t hide who we are, our credentials nor our identity. Even videos of me singing are available. And I honestly am not sure to what extent they are aware.


  10. Hey, so is it possible for a soprano to hit D3/C#3 with relative ease without a lot of training? I just don’t know if I’m a mezzo or a soprano with ease in the lower notes (like Tiffany). Like I said, I can maintain tone down to those notes and I can hit B2/Bb2 (I’ve been taking lessons for about six months, so I’ve had no training in the lower register yet), and I have trouble belting above A4 which I think is too low to be a soprano. Then again, I find it easier to use my head voice than my mixed voice, but that’s probably due to lack of training, right? What do you think?


    1. It’s kind of ambiguous looking at it like that since I’ve seen sopranos who can’t mix te be unable to sing above A4 too but I’d say it’s possible, though I’d not throw away my options yet.


  11. Quick question since Tiffany is going to soon be debuting in the US under another company this June are you guys going to be updating her review if there’s improvements but isn’t promoting in Korea?


  12. “Has been using head voice instead of straining through songs more”

    But does this really mean anything considering she can’t support said head voice? How does transitioning into head voice rather than belting reduce the strain if it’s still strained?


    1. Who said the head voice is strained? Support, strain, tension, they’re all spectrums. Just cause something isn’t supported doesn’t automatically make it strained. I think I’ve already said this to you before actually. A non-supported head voice may simply be shallow/underdeveloped, but not necessarily strained. Singing in something that’s not full of tension and strain is always healthier than singing with a tight throat and strain.


      1. I don’t know why, but for some reason her head voice always came across as being strained to me, glad that’s not the case


    1. Yes that’s a run. Runs aren’t exactly where support lies, I mean of course a run can be supported. But usually we focus more on the accuracy of pitch, smoothness of note connection and delivery more so than the support for a run. Not that it’s not important, but it’s not always going to be something that will take away from a well executed room. I have not listened to the EP, I don’t know if there’s any improvement but based on this, I’m hearing similar issues. The song is nice. The C5 in the run is pretty pushed, but the notes weren’t too bad in terms of execution. I hear a robotic quality so to me it feels like it went through something like melodine, a pitch fixing program.


  13. i think tiffany forgot how to, well, sing properly. i feel like she abandoned support and proper technique for a more stylistic approach to be more marketable in the us, and since it’s been so long since she’s sung with support, she’s forgotten how to do it. she sounds sooo throaty these days, and when she sings old songs like i just wanna dance or fool, you can REALLY hear the difference.


    1. Do you have any clips of this? I have not heard her perform in a while so I am curious if that’s true. Also support is not something you can easily forget. At all. It’s like riding a bike.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not the original commenter, but this is a more recent acoustic performance of hers. Just adding on cuz I’m also curious since I also think she sounds like she’s approaching her singing different now compared to before.. like I think she’s using more vocal fry now. Is that a result of poor technique or regression, or is it just a performative element by choice?


    2. Lmao, talk about being ridiculous. She’s doing just fine. She’s using a more stylistic approach for some of her songs, but she only does it in easily manageable parts. Her belts are still supported up to Bb4/B4, same old same old. And as Ahmin has stated multiple times, she’s improved her upper register since her US debut.

      Like if you’re going to talk about some dRasTiC regression, post some links to prove your point. Don’t just info dump some random turd that is most likely untrue.


      1. (I was replying to charlie, btw. Clarifying cause the reply system here is weird and I wanna avoid misunderstandings. Feel free to reply to me tho)


      2. I appreciate you responding but I’d ask for you to refrain from degrading other people’s opinions and questions with words like ridiculous and turd. We can all be kind to one another.


    3. Bruh imo she is actually more carefull and doesn’t belt out the notes she can’t hit! Most of her songs are now just in her med register and the highest note i’ve heard from her from us debut untill now is an Eb or E i’m not sure but that’s just my opinion lolol


  14. For some reason I can’t reply to you but anyways. May I ask where do you hear vocal fry? In the start of the song the vocal cords were connected. Later on she ascends into muxed voice and the high notes are the same throaty high larynx notes we know from Tiffany. The support is there throughout and the low notes sounded supported to me.


    1. Can’t reply as well. I’ll say that’s one perfect example of “stylistic singing”. She used that slight grit and fry at the beginning of some phrases by her choice. Her singing in that part was still mostly in her control and support. However, Same cannot be said about her high parts :/


      1. With reference to that acoustic version of Born Again, would you say her high notes are a bit more supported than before? Idk they sound less screamy than before to me…


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