G2 ~ C#6 (3 Octaves and 3 notes)
D3 ~ Bb4 (B4 in studio)
D3 ~ F#5/G5 (with head voice)
Light Lyric Tenor
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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“.
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.
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)“.
Vocal Range Video(s)
video by: Edgar Cárdenas
video by: 1zhxzhx
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)