F#2 ~ G#5 (3 octaves and 1 note)
G#2 ~ E4/F4
G#2 ~ C5/C#5 (With head voice)
- Resonance is a very consistent form of vocal placement
- Support is very consistent throughout his range
- Has shown good improvement in his vocal control in terms of pitch and agility
- Has an agile voice, able to take on complex and elaborate runs to an extent
- A very musically developed vocalist, uses his voice like an instrument and is able to improvise well
- Sings with a connected head voice
- Strain isn’t common and as a smart vocalist, he does not generally try to sing outside his comfort zone
- Support in his lower range extends down to G#2, consistently
- Resonance and support in the mixed range are consistent as high as E4/F4
- Support in the head voice can present as high as C5/C#5
- Very even healthy vibrato is used
- Sometimes transitions between falsetto, head voice and mix can be sloppy
- Although possessing an agile voice, sometimes precision of pitch can be an issue live
- Lower range may carry tone but support isn’t present down to his lowest note
- Head voice can become strained and tight above C#5
- Nasality may happen at times
- Underdeveloped mixed range due to lack of balance between chest and head voice
- Mixed range isn’t extensive
- Too much weight is carried up in his mix, causing occasional throatiness
- Support and resonance can be lost as he sings above F4
- Lower register: The lower part of his voice can often be accompanied by a thick and bassy quality or a more airy singing style. He is able to consistently support his voice even as low as G#2, however the overall tone of the voice is lost as he descends below G#2.
- Mixed register: Mixed voice is mostly chest-dominant and possesses a very round and full tone with consistent resonance up to E4 and support present up to F4 with certain inconsistencies. Support isn’t kept higher than F4, where the voice becomes tighter and throatier.
- Upper register: Head voice is used often and the general ability to transition into the upper part of the head voice is good. He has consistency in using a connected head voice but the overall control of his head voice can be lost due to transitioning issues in the lower part of his head range. Stability issues and sometimes pitch issues can be present due to sloppy transitions. Head voice registers becomes whinier and tighter as he ascends above C#5.
Breaking the stereotype that only those with light or high voices can have vocal agility, John Park was always known for his ability to add R&B/Soul-like runs and melismas to his music. Although it is true that the lighter the voice is, much like anything, the faster it could be potentially, it is not impossible or even unlikely that a vocalist whose roots lie in soul music to be able to emulate and create the muscle memory necessary to add runs with accuracy in their music. John Park’s voice is very agile in the sense that it does not sound sloppy when he does runs and his runs generally are accurate and well separate, with a very natural flow and rhythmic dictation. Having said that, however, his runs are not always as accurate live as they might be in studio, which is possibly due to improvising on the spot and not having prepared the musical idea clearly in his head before executing such runs. Comparing live performances of songs like “U” and “Sipping My Life“, it is possible to hear nearly flawless runs when they’re done as he had them planned, but when he is given a song where he is able to improvise more on, the general idea of the song can be lost with excessive runs and runs that feel slightly out of place, much like in “Heal The World” and “Imagine“, a detail that has improved overtime if comparing his American Idol version of “Gravity” against his “newer one” performed after debuting in Korea.
One of Korea’s more successful contestants from SuperStar K, John Park is an example of a indie/mainstream baritone vocalist from Korea. Much like Jung Joon Young, Kang SeungYoon and Roy Kim, baritones are a type of voice that seems to be more popular when not done in a pop way and usually find their way into mainstream music through SuperStar K and other shows as such. His tone is manly and contains a very deep sound throughout his range, with a slightly darker quality than higher baritone like SHINee’s Key would. Nevertheless, his voice lies closest to that of a Lyric Baritone with a bassier sound that embellishes the soulful tone present in his voice.
The lower part of his range is thick and full in tone, but still retains a chest-placed quality that projects well through mask allowing for a contemporary, relaxed neutral larynx position. He had moments before where he’d lower his larynx when singing in his lower range, muffling the sound to an extent, such as the G#2 in “God Bless The Child“. However that has changed overtime and now he has shown that he can not only support his voice with proper breathing technique even as low as G#2, such as in “Good Day” and “이게 아닌데“, but also keep considerable vocal tone even as low as F#2 such as in “Lost Stars“. Even though tone is present below G#2, the support becomes more shallow and the overall quality of tone is lost due to a distortion caused by lack of connection between the vocal cords and a sound that does not project perfectly through the mask.
The upper part of his range is where his voice shows a lot of baritone qualities. His first passaggio falls somewhere in between Bb3 and B3, showing a very baritone-like quality but still retaining considerable amounts of chest resonance as well as muscle coordination. The tone produced in his mixed range is rich and possesses a lot of bass to it, with consistent support and resonance, such as the D4’s in “You and I” and the numerous E4’s in “Rolling In The Deep“. His resonance is a very good mix of chest placement as well as mask placement and it is very consistent throughout his lower to mid-mixed range. The downside of his mixed range is the consistency above E4, where he may at times show support up to F4 with some resonance, such as in “God Bless The Child” and “Man In The Mirror“, but at other times the voice becomes less resonant and more throaty with less projection, such as in “My Funny Valentine“. When it comes to notes above F4, however, there is no consistency of support and generally he becomes more tight and strained in sound, such as the F#4’s in “오늘같은 밤” and “So Sick“. Perhaps due to the fact that he might be aware of his vocal limits, John Park has yet to show a mixed voice above F#4, which shows a lack of development of the potential range he could have as a baritone, as well as the overall lack of coordination of the muscles responsible for the mixed voice, more importantly the cricothyroid muscles that would normally aid in adding head voice to the mix and extending it further in range. As a smart vocalist, he does not attempt to sing songs that show his weaknesses or go out of his comfort zone, hence he may be able to mix above F#4 but would not try that live for the sake of his performances and vocal health.
Notably, a male is less likely to possess a connected head voice but John Park is an exception to such a rule. The male “head voice” would most likely be called a falsetto in classical music, however in contemporary terms it is possible for a male to use a voice that’s as close as they could get to a “pure head voice”. A pure head voice is usually more of a female trait because of the distance between their passaggi, that allows for more time to disconnect from the chest voice and enter a head voice only area, whereas males will carry more chest up into their head voice, much like what John Park does. John Park’s head voice may at times turn into more a falsetto, with less connection of the vocal cords and more of an airy sound but generally is safe from the range of F4 ~ C#5, and only has issues of transitioning when trying to sing closer to his second passaggio around Eb4/E4, where the tone is weaker and the pitch may be lost, as shown in “Too Late“. Above C#5, he has the tendency to push his head voice higher with more tension and a slight whiny quality, such as the E5’s in “Stand By Me” and “Falling“, where due to vowel shapes, the tone can sound tight and less resonant. He’s still able to take his head voice up to F#5 with a connected sound, such as in “Man In The Mirror” and even G#5, such as in “난 여자가 있는데“, although the control of his muscles is then lost and the sound may become less connected and more airy.
Musically speaking, not only is John Park a very musically sensitive person, able to use his voice in many different ways and registers to convey his emotional messages through vocal onsets and dynamics, but he’s also a very versatile artist who is able to perform in a variety of musical genres, such as Jazz, Bossa nova, blues, R&B, Pop, Ballad and Acoustic Indie. As a vocalist, he is in control of his voice most of the time he performs and uses his voice very well as an instrument. He respects his own limits but also limits himself by staying too tight in a bubble of comfort. For the future, the best way for John Park to improve would be to further explore his range and the limits where he could take it, since he is not in an idol group, high or low note battles aren’t done but it is safe to assume that he could potentially mix higher or sing lower in his chest voice, which could always be showcased and improved through practice and technique development. The way he sings now, however, is good and well suited for the music he performs and he rarely tries to sing outside of a healthy range, allowing for a very safe zone in terms of vocal health and longevity.
One of his strongest aspects and skills is his ability to improvise music. Much like most Korean-American vocalists, a pattern that can be heard to create your own version of songs amongst them, however not all are as successful as others. John Park, on the other hand, has this skill more mastered than most where he is not only able to add his own musical ideas to songs of his own when singing them live, such as the F4 breakdown in “Too Late” as well as the numerous performances of “Stand By Me“, where not only is he able to change the song, adlib through it with new runs and belts, but also he uses the ability to harmonize with himself very well through a machine that allows segments recorded in a song to be repeated in order to perform for solo acapella songs.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)