Super Junior’s Vocal Analysis: Ryeowook [Newly Updated]

Vocal Range

G2 ~ C#6 (3 Octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

D3 ~ Bb4 (B4 in studio)

D3 ~ F#5/G5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Second strongest vocalist in Super Junior
  • One of the strongest vocalists amongst male idols
  • Very well developed head voice muscles and transitions
  • Head placement is very well exercised in the head voice
  • Mixed voice is consistently supported up to Bb4
  • Resonance is very consistent in his supported range
  • Lower range is supported down to D3 consistently
  • Healthy vibrato is produced
  • Voice is well developed in most registers
  • Head voice shows consistency in support and resonance up to F#5/G5
  • Has well placed and supported B4’s in studio
  • Above supported range head voice still has good placement
  • Mixed voice is well balanced but a bit chesty

Weaknesses

  • Has issues in the mixed voice with the vowels Ooh and Oh
  • Nasality can be a bit too present in the voice due to improper jaw shape
  • Pitch issues can happen sometimes too often
  • Issues with consistency above Bb4, notes aren’t live
  • Mixed voice becomes heady on C#5
  • Lower range is the weakest register, underdeveloped below D3
  • Vocal runs are often sloppy and inaccurate
  • Head voice is pushed above G5
  • Sometimes can have jaw tension with improper posture

Registers

  • Lower register: His weakest register which still is decently well developed for a tenor. Possessing tone and good placement down to D3 consistently, and being able to vocalize down to Bb2 and sometimes G2 with tone.
  • Mixed register: Very well developed mixed range, sits very well and comfortably in the tenor range with good consistency and resonance. Balanced to slightly chesty mixed voice.
  • Upper register: Very well developed muscle coordination, always connected and well transitioned into. Very good head placement with good resonance, well placed even if strained and consistently able to keep good support up to F#5/G5.

Agility

One of the weakest parts of his voice, although Ryeowook generally favors a lighter vocal cord coordination when it comes to his upper mixed voice, aside from his head voice, his melismas are often very under-prepared. He has the tendency to not only sing with improper separation of pitch, by sliding through notes, often he also lacks the natural flow and bounce necessary to rhythmically sing through vocal runs as efficiently as possible. Although he’s able to more or less sing vocal runs that are done in his head voice with precision, if they’re slow in tempo in his head voice such as in “Moves Like Jagger“, his runs are generally sloppy and inaccurate when added more notes or done with a little bit more speed, such as in  “Moves Like Jagger“, “Start Of Something New“, “Let’s Not” and “Superman“.

Overall analysis

Debuting in 2005 with Super Junior, Ryeowook is one of the longer running idols still active in their groups today. With a 10 year career, Ryeowook has been able to show a consistent use of his voice with skill and technique that not only makes him stand out from the rest of the competition, but also allows him to take on vocally demanding and challenging parts in many Super Junior songs. Usually marketed less heavily as a main vocalist and somewhat outshined by the more praised main vocalist, Yesung, Ryeowook’s vocal skill isn’t to be demeaned as part of the main trio of tenors in Super Junior. With a voice that is very light, bright and soft, lacking in weight but also sitting quite high in tessitura, he is more than likely to be classified as a light lyric tenor, one of the lighter weight tenors in the group.

Starting from the bottom of his range, Ryeowook exposes most of his weaknesses here. Not to be overlooked however, his lower range is quite extensive in range and still shows a more consistent development than the average or less developed tenors in pop music. Being able to at times vocalize down to G2/G#2 with considerable vocal tone, such as in “어떤그리움” and “사랑한다 안한다“, his voice generally lacks the true color of tone that one would have when fully grasping the concept of support in their lower range. For the most part, his lower range in the second octave is mostly very airy and muffled in tone, not projecting fully even if tone may be present, such as in “친구와 사랑에 빠질 때“. At times he’s able to vocalize somewhat projected C#3’s, C3’s, B2’s and Bb2’s, such as in “너랑나“, “아름다운 이별” and “사랑한다 안한다“, but his true tone only becomes consistently supported, well projected and present as he ascends above D3. In many occasions, Ryeowook will sing songs that only descend as low as D3, showing perhaps an understand of how comfortable he is singing low, consistently supporting those notes, such as in “여신님이 보고계셔“, “응결“, “잠들고 싶어“, “걸음을 멈추고“.

Ryeowook’s voice does quite well when presented with more challenging songs in a higher range, where his mixed voice is very well explored and developed. Unlike most idol groups, Super Junior KRY was never marketed as vocalists who sing excessively high, so rather than straining into a Soprano range like most tenors would, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun specially stay within their supported ranges more so than they would try to sing outside of that. Due to that, most of Ryeowook’s performances sit within the D3 ~ A4/Bb4 range, where he’s able to show consistent resonance and support. His voice generally lacks a sense of struggle when singing around G4, as shown in “그녀를 만나는 곳 100m전“, and he makes good use of A4 as his main money note, where in many performances he’s able to sustain it with control and full resonance and a stable larynx, such as in “끝사랑“, “하얀 목련“, “오늘도 난“, “바다에 누워” and “휘파람을 부세“. The consistency of his mix is not lost on Bb4, where he still carries resonance and support, such as in “Too Many Beautiful Girls“, “사랑이 이렇게 “, “사랑이 떠나다“, “366 Days” and “Mikazuki“.

The issue with Ryeowook’s preference for singing well within his supported is not only that he does not allow himself to improve and further challenge himself outside of said range, it also makes judging his consistency outside that range a challenge since he carries support and resonance up to B4 in studio and good placement isn’t lost even on C5, but the consistency of this isn’t something one could correctly analyze since it isn’t done live much or at all. Another two issues come from his mixed voice that contradicts the natural light weight of his tone, due to it being slightly more on the chest-dominant side, he can sometimes push his voice within his supported range and he often has jaw tension in the upper part of his range, causing him to lose freedom in that upper range, such as in “말없이 바라만 봐“, “잘들어” and “Mamacita“. It is safe to say that when not singing in more closed vowels, such as “Oo (우)”,  “Ee (이)” or even at times “Aye (애/에)”, Ryeowook is able to produce consistent resonance up to Bb4 when properly prepared and warmed up and is able to carry this resonance up to B4 in studio with questionable consistency live.

Easily one of most well developed head voices amongst tenors in K-pop, Ryeowook sadly does not show off his head voice as often as he could considering its freedom and consistency. It’s hard to find moments, if any at all, where Ryeowook has issues transitioning into his head voice. The muscle coordination in his vocal cords is so well developed, that his head voice is very well controlled in terms of connection to the voice as a whole and a full dynamic use of his voice, with head placement over mask placement, as most tenors favor. His ease in his head voice is shown when he transitions into it, by not having any noticeable vocal breaks but also keeping a control of pitch and head placement, shown in the B4’s in “나는 너를, “D5’s and F5 in “Nothing Better“, E5’s in “휘파람을 부세“, the F5 in “잘들어“, the F#5 in “So I” and G5 “BAAAM“. Ryeowook’s head voice is a highlight for its very pure in tone and carries little to no chest resonance to it at all, remaining one of the cleanest head voices amongst tenors. The weakness of the head voice seems to be sometimes issues with stability or openness or perhaps consistency and confidence, due to how underexplored this part of his voice is when singing his own repertoire. Even when taken outside his supported range, such as in the Super Junior-M “High Note Challenge“, Ryeowook is able to carry very good head resonance and connection up to B5, even with some pushing and a slightly uncontrolled pitchy scale. His highest note is a C#6 on the “same challenge“.

As a vocalist and interpreter, Ryeowook isn’t a show-off who tries to add an uncountable amount of high notes into his vocal performances, but instead opts for more a more conventional and cleaner approach to his repertoire, staying within his supported range and showcasing only things he’s confident in, with a good control of dynamics, resonance and vocal effects. At times his lower range might show fragility in tone and airiness for effect, sometimes he can create a soft and balanced light mix with small resonance to show vulnerability, those skills are very well used and well balanced with a consistently well controlled voice and a healthy vibrato.

Sadly compared to his peers, Super Junior is marketed as a huge multi-talent group, as opposed to a vocal group. Contrary to common belief, SM Entertainment is one of the companies with the most rigorous vocal training and generally has produced most the top notch vocalists in K-pop, when it comes to vocal technique. Super Junior is no exception and although highly underrated, Ryeowook has shown multiple times that he’s a versatile vocalist with a voice that’s developed fairly well from bottom to top of his range, with control and skill. For future improvement, Ryeowook’s biggest routes would be developing his lower range and taking risks vocally to develop a more precise use of vocal ornaments, musicianship and ascend into the underrated but well developed parts of his voice, such as his upper head voice and upper mixed voice.

Musicianship

As a singer, Ryeowook is more of a technical than he is a stylistic singer, therefore big changes in songs or adding very complicated melodic lines and runs isn’t exactly his forte. Nevertheless, Ryeowook isn’t one to show a lack of skill in his ear training, by being able to improvise, even if tentatively, when given the chance to. In some occasions he’s able to showcase well rehearsed and confident added vocal lines to songs, such as in “Open Arms“, at other times he’s able to stay in pitch and key by adding his own little melodic ideas in songs even if not making by changes, such as in “BAAAM” but most importantly he’s also got a well trained ear to blend his voice with others and harmonize well in given songs, such as in “죽일 놈 (Guilty)“.

Rating

Good Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

video by: Edgar Cárdenas

video by: 1zhxzhx

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

212 thoughts on “Super Junior’s Vocal Analysis: Ryeowook [Newly Updated]

      1. “Beautiful” is a subjective term that has little to do with technique. What notes are you speaking of? Do you mean mixed voice? Do you mean head voice? How high? All those things matter to answer your question accurately.

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      2. I mean the head voice. It seems to me that Ryeo in general is a bit more free with high notes (though no wonder since he has narrower range in general because of the absence of low notes). I noticed in one of the videos you also mentioned that Kyu at times chooses a bit lower key than he technically could as he feels he sounds better that way.

        A side question: did you know that SuJu is a band where even their drummer/rapper Hee-Chul can sing? I was surprised hearing a some of examples.

        Usually Hee does not sound very expressive: for example, in the duet “Breakups are So Like Me” with Kim Jang Hoon, who sounds like a powerful masterful vocalist, Hee sounds very beautiful thanks to the mellow, colourful voice timbre he possesses, but weaker, not impressive in terms of artistry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpNer0i2ZRg

        However, it turns out he can sing with artistry, too, as in this cover of “You To You” by Lee Seung Hwan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1QyipDlIio — he still sounds a bit less expressive than the original singer, though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG0wYsCxPHI

        Or here in the cover of “Rain and You”, accompanied by Sung-Min’s guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHdap4b4qpE — here I can not hear if he sings it less expressive, but he does it in a less demanding way in terms of vocal techniques than the original by Rumble Fish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCim2a9h69M

        Obviously, it is impossible to expect a high level technique from a drummer-rapper, but I am right about my the artistry/expressiveness assessments? Or I am totally wrong and, on the contrary, Hee is better with technique than artistry?

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      3. Well you are right! Ryeowook does have a better head voice! I mean I am very familiar with SuJu and Heechul as well but I’m afraid the way he sings isn’t very technical. He is a pure throat kind of vocalist, due to bad habits of thinking that’s how rock is sung which cuts off a lot of his openness and projection. Expressiveness may not be the best way to judge technique although limited dynamics are a factor. But if you feel he’s expressing songs well emotionally, that’s subjective and I can’t tell you that you’re wrong.

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      4. It looks like I tried to post a message with links, and it went to a moderation queue, that is usually drawn with spam, so it will be probably lost…

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      5. About the use of throat singing: I do not like the way Hee sings in his trot songs and in M&D (a duet with rock band Trax guitarist) rock songs, they sound too scream-y to me (Hee’s friend Hong-Ki do such songs much better). The couple of examples I gave, however, were sung in a different manner, I did not even know he could do more free, relaxed singing. Speaking of expressiveness, though, I still have some issues as it is still a bit weaker than in one of the originals songs.

        By the way, I listened to you talking about singing. There you talk about breathing, but what if my voice chords start hurting after a short while even if I just talk, they become dry? I know I have to relax the chords/throat to not strain it, but even when I am most calm and relaxed in my tone, I can still talk (let alone sing) only for a short time, and then I have to stop. For comparison, most people (especially women) can talk hours without an issue. Can it be fixed? Thanks in advance.

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      6. It’s freer but I wouldn’t call it a supported sound because the throaty habits are kind of much more evident.

        Do you hydrate often? Do you speak in a breathy way? Or too harshly? Or perhaps too low for your natural voice? Those are possible culprits.

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      7. I do not speak as if I am suffocating/grasping for a breath/hyperventilating, I speak normally. I speak relatively high, but I am not trying to talk lower.

        I do try to hydrate often, but my mucous membranes (at various places of the body) are usually less proficient than they should be, so maybe this is the reason why the chords quickly become too dry even when humidity in the room is normal?

        There is a medical syndrome that expresses itself though dry mouth and other places of the kind, but so far, thankfully, there are no other clinical indicators for it in my blood tests.

        This means that that this issue is simply my genetic specificity/mutation, that I am simply unlucky, that I can only talk — let alone sing — for long in maybe a sauna with 100% humidity?

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      8. I would have to hear you to be able to tell you what a possible reason might be. This may have to do with singing technique but also it’s a lot more related to speech habit, like a speech therapist?

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      9. I am thousands of kilometres away, so, sadly, I would not be able to consult with you. But you have already helped me, because I only heard of speech therapists in a sense when they help children correct pronunciation, but maybe, indeed, they can also somehow help in my case with the vocal issues. Thanks for the advice, maybe it will work for me. 🙂

        Oh, I almost forgot: maybe it is a tell-tale sign of something, or maybe not, but when I try to sing gammas my voice at times completely disappears, and then re-appears few seconds later — all on its own, I do not specifically change anything in my effort to keep the tone at those moments. And happens *not* close to my highest note, it happens way before that (though above my talking range). The chords completely loose the ability to emit sound at those moments.

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    1. Way better than when she sang this with Onew and a lot more intense too. This was really nice, but I mean this is based off of 2010/2011 Luna and she improved a lot since then. This is challenging but they’re handling it well.

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      1. Thank you! I was hoping to hear Onew sing it again as well, but it was cool hearing Ryeowook sing it too.

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  1. Hi, this is Ryeowook’s cousin Jungwook singing on ICSYV3, he’s a member of F.I.X. They look and sound so different haha,

    Ryeowook comes from a musical family or so, and he said once that he doesn’t count as a good singer compared to his relatives, may I ask how Jungwook’s doing here?

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    1. F.I.X., I haven’t heard of them in a while. 0:17 he sings with a high larynx up to those A4’s a lot, he sounds like he doesn’t support very deeply and he uses his throat a bit too much. Of course, being cousins shouldn’t mean anything for singing ability or even looks lol Jungwook’s singing is a lot less technically correct than Ryeowook’s, he isn’t bad. He supports, but he tends to less too much air through his vocal cords and he gets tight as he sings higher. Around f4, he doesn’t sound bad.

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    1. The verse is mostly in a very comfortable range for both of them, so they’re not struggling to handle those notes at all. I am surprised I didn’t talk about this video because I should have considering it has a head voice F5 at the end for Ryeowook. The chorus is around F4/F#4 range, where Ryeowook and D.O. both are quite comfortable singing with good support. Ryeowook could be more opened overall. I hear some jaw tension from D.O., coming sometimes from the accent he has in English. 2:45 ish there are G#4’s coming so this is basically the top of the song in terms of range, neither of them are having issues. 3:23 That G#4 for D.O. was nice, could’ve been more opened. 3:52 Oh D.O. is the one who hits the F5, this is why I didn’t mention this performance. There’s not much to it to talk about, it’s a comfortable range. Do you have any specific questions I didn’t touch upon?

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  2. First, Sorry for my poor English.
    Finally, someone know his talent. Thanks for the analysis coz many didn’t like ryeowook vocal colour so he was always underrated. BTW, why in many suju song ryeowook voice usually more loud than other (I’m not complaint) especially in live performances such as don’t leave me, hero, etc. Is it because his voice naturally high or he can’t blend good enough? But in your analysis blend is one of the good point from ryeowook. And I know u didn’t analysis the studio performance, but what do you think about his duet with bada? Thanks n happy new year.

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      1. Many people say that Bada’ voice more powerful than ryeowook, maybe because his voice thinner than her so that sound like that. But I like their duet than ryeowook ailee.

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  3. https://youtu.be/ityUc3qdFr4 I know these performances from 3 years ago and they improve since then but I wanna ask about ryeowook, he sung 3 song that day. First, trio with kyungsoo n Chen. I like ryeowook run, was it run in the last right?

    Second ryeowook ft baekhyun. I dunno but baekhyun seems like push his voice so he can louder than ryeowook or this arrangement where ryeowook mostly as a background sound or what. I mean they didn’t blend well for me.

    Third, ryeowook ft kyungsoo. Maybe you ever analysis this but I didn’t know this perform or on stage perform. This perform made ryeowook upset after that because some said kyungsoo way better than ryeowook and ryeowook should stop singing. Sorry for bothering you in holidays with my nagging questions.

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    1. 3 full videos is quite a bit to check..so I might skip through.

      So I’m assuming since your questions are on Ryeowook’s analysis, that they’re specific to Ryeowook. So Ryeowook is singing the main melody, which is why he is not blending in as much. Chen and Kyungsoo were singing the harmonies, Kyungsoo also usually sings softer and smoother so he blends his voice more easily. When Ryeowook sings the harmony for Chen, he doesn’t overpower him. 3:16 those are very short and simple runs in the adlibs, he didn’t do anything difficult.

      Baekhyun isn’t pushing to overpower Ryeowook. Ryeowook isn’t singing in unison with Baekhyun, he is singing the harmony for the song and Baekhyun is singing the main melody. So as the background vocalist for the chorus, pulling back his sound for the harmony to blend in better is fine, although he was a bit pitchy with the harmony. Which is okay considering this was kind of improvised anyway.

      Yes this video has been discussed quite a few times. I’m not sure what your question is. Kyungsoo and Ryeowook both sang within a reasonably comfortable range only up to G#4, both were comfortable enough even though D.O. was pushing more and had a few issues with pitch, whereas Ryeowook was more in control.

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      1. Thank you so much. It’s wonderful you answer all my questions except for ryeowook ft bada. Hehehe.
        I know it’s simple run adlibs but it’s beautiful and this makes me feel that not just kyungsoo who is sing better in comfortable situation like you said in his analysis but ryeowook too. He can adlibs run and used his head voice such as BAAAMM more freely and lively in sukira than on stage even without prepare.
        BTW, you said that ryeowook could be louder in suju cause he pushes with chestiness beside has bigger resonance and projection. Is it okay to push like that for his voice? I mean could it be damaging his voice?

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      2. It’s not okay and he shouldn’t use as much chestiness and pushing in his voice. But also he can be louder because he’s the only one who supports besides Kyuhyun and Yesung.

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  4. I saw someone sharing this “The only men in kpop who can handle G5’s are Jonghyun, Ryeowook, Naul, Hyoshin and Dongha btw”
    Is this true?

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  5. hi, I just saw this high note battle and I think Ryeowook hit a D6 at 0:33? btw may i ask if it would physically help with my head placement if I point into my head or place my hand in front of my forehead like he did in the earlier battle on this page could it help detect some vibration going on lol) or it’s just some totally imaginative thing that you could aim for? thanks 😀

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    1. That was a C#6 actually, but close enough. It helps psychologically but it’s not a physical thing, it may just help the sound be guided in the right direction. If it works for you, it works for you.

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      1. What makes Sandeul better than Ryeowook? Is it because Sandeul does have better lower register, runs and consistent in his mixed(even a little bit)?

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      2. Well both Sandeul and Ryeowook are chesty and push, but Sandeul engages more support when he does. He’s more consistent in support, his resonance freer, his lower range better and he is less pitchy. Ryeowook only beats him in head voice.

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  6. Am I correct to assume that the main & biggest reason Wookie come to this level is because how well developed his upper register is?
    I mean I read it somewhere that male basically struggle harder than female when it comes to support & develop head register. So when the analysis says that he has one of the most developed upper register & cleanest head voice among tenors & male idols, I can’t help but to make that assumption.
    Am I right?

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      1. Ahh really? Thanks for the answer!
        But is it true the theory I said in my comment that male tend to struggle harder to support & develop head voice compared to female? Or is it literally just the same for both sex?

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      2. I don’t think I’ve heard enough about this to confidently say that either statement is wrong nor right.

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  7. Hi, how about his perform on ss6 Ina in 2015?
    Especially for the high note on (2:23-2:31) (3:00-3:07) & (3:34-3:40)?

    Is it a bit crack or shaky or off tune in 3:46?
    Much thanks 🙂

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      1. 2:23 ~ 2:31 G4 and A4, he is pushing a bit. 3:00 A4, he is pushing through some fatigue. 3:34 again pushing and 3:46 he was flat, he just seems a bit tired.

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  8. Soooo I watched one video of his live vocal range and i was like his support is around D3-Bb4 but he seems like he can support a B4 >>>> IM SHOOK how did I get it right XD

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    1. You mean he is more confident and comfortable singing like this instead of like at a performance where he’s singing in front of people? I suppose, but I can’t read his mind so I’m not sure what he feels.

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  9. Hiya, I’d just like to share with you a few of Ryeowook’s recent live performances, so happy we could hear him sing on the stage every once in a while. I found that he’s been making some cute song choices and would like to ask how he sounds to you :)?

    ‘Bravo My Life’ 3:01 3:21

    ‘겁’ 2:23 3:20 3:32

    ‘I’ – 2:19; ‘Sorry Sorry’ – 10:18

    Thanks :))))

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    1. 3:01 Bb4 with support, a bit closed. 3:21 again support is carried, but he closed his throat slightly too much. 2:23 Bb4? It sounded tight. 3:20 I actually think it’s supposed to be B4, but he is singing in between Bb and B, and it’s tight again, too tight. 3:32 I feel it’s still a bit flat here, but more centered and it’s a tight B4. 2:19 B4, I personally think he should’ve sung Bb4 instead. It was too tight and pushed. But this is above where he supports consistently. 10:18 The run isn’t very clean, the support is there, but the runs aren’t good but he’s never had much flexibility in his runs.

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      1. Thanks for taking your time to reply! Yeah he did seem to show more pitch issues in these recent performances even at some lower notes, maybe because he couldn’t hear himself very well ╮(╯▽╰)╭

        Is it that if there is enough breath support, one’s throat would naturally open up enough in singing?

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  10. Hello ahmin. How does natural vibrato sound like? Would you send me a clip of Ryewook with a clear natural vibrato and also another clip of him supporting a long, held Bb4? I have only seen Ryeowook support Bb4’s with phrases, not long held notes like what he does with consistent A4’s. Thanks.

    Like

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