Super Junior’s Vocal Analysis: Yesung

Yesung

Vocal Range

G2 ~ A5 (3 Octaves and 1 note)

Supported Range

C#3/D3 ~ G4/G#4

Voice Type

Light Lyric Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Third strongest vocalist in Super Junior
  • Consistently able to produce resonance in his mixed voice
  • Support is consistent up until G4/G#4
  • Has been able to produce a connected head voice up to G5
  • Supports voice down to C#3/D3 consistently
  • Good control of dynamics and vocal effects
  • Improvement from debut until now

Weaknesses

  • Vocal runs are often sloppy and lack a clear musical idea
  • Resonance can be pushed
  • Overly chesty-mix, lacks freedom and sounds throaty
  • Voice can get whiny at times
  • Head voice can sound tight and not well supported
  • Mostly uses a throaty husky falsetto
  • Notes below C3 are produced with vocal fry at times
  • Jaw tension when using vibrato

Registers

  • Lower register: Somewhat well supported, connection between the vocal cords is often present and the tone produced has projection, but sometimes due to stylistic reasons, it can become muffled and unclear. Below C3, the voice generally sounds quieter and a lot more vocal fry is used to generate tone in that range.
  • Mixed register: Very consistent resonance up to G4/G#4 and support is present up to A4, with occasional resonance. Sometimes can strain within his supported range due to pushing and an overly chest-dominant mixed voice, which hinders his mixed range above A4, often sounding shouty and constricted.
  • Upper register: Not used as often as necessary, often opting for a belt in place of a falsetto or head voice note. A head voice is present but isn’t consistently used and lacks support and openness. The falsetto register is used more often and often sounds scratchy and husky.

Agility

Possessing a voice that carries a lot of weight, for one to have flexibility and agility, it would be hard to sing through challenging quick passages when singing with more weight than normal, just like running with more weight causes the body to go slower, carrying up too much weight in the mix voice can cause a similar effect. Due to the fact that Yesung’s voice carries a lot of chest voice up in his mixed voice, it hinders his flexibility and ability to fully allow freedom into his vocal ornaments. When he does very quick and subtle trills between notes, Yesung is able to create the proper bouncing technique to differentiate and separate his notes properly, for an example “Paper Gray“, however when it comes to slightly more elaborate runs, his voice becomes slow and the result is usually sloppy runs where the accuracy for each note to be hit isn’t present anymore, such as in “Polaris“, “해줄 수 없는 일” and “가슴아파도“.

Overall analysis

Debuting as the main vocalist of Super Junior in 2005 alongside Ryeowook, later joined by Kyuhyun and forming Super Junior KRY, amongst other sub-units, Yesung is a highly acclaimed and well praised vocalist in the idol world. Possessing a more husky and heavier tone than usual, his voice can often be highly appealing and create a sense of effort and emotions to a degree that generally pleases the audience and his fans. Possessing a heavily chest-dominant mixed voice but a somewhat high tessitura, Yesung’s vocal fach has always been a reason for discussion amongst vocal peers due to its ambiguity in both tone and quality. Due to how much chest voice it’s present in his mixed voice, it is possible that he could turn out to be a heavier or lighter voice type with proper training but for the purpose of this analysis, Yesung would most likely better be classified as a light lyric tenor due to the higher tessitura he sings in most of the time, as well as general repertoire and overall ease he possesses in the tenor range, compared to a baritone or heavier tenor voice.

The lower part of his chest has a somewhat well developed sound, with connection of the vocal cords and presence of projection. However so, there’s a lack of clarity of tone due to a husky stylistic approach present in Yesung’s singing, that may at times hinder the full tone and projection of his lower range and cause a more muffled sound to come through. He is nonetheless able to produce well supported notes down to C3, such as the C3’s and D3’s in “한남자“, C#3’s in “서시” and D3’s in “I Do“. Whenever Yesung descends below C3, however, there’s a considerable drop in chest voice tone to his lower range and an excessive use of a thicker vocal fry-like quality, mixed in with his chest voice, causing the tone to sound less natural and less connected than in the third octave. This also is influenced by a less connected chest voice and vocal cords, creating a less true tone to his original chest voice, even though he’s still able to project well into the second octave down to G2, such as the G2’s in “한남자” and Bb2’s and A2’s “We Can“, but at other times when not adding the vocal fry, his voice generally becomes airy and unclear such as the Bb2 in “체념“.

The higher part of his range is where Yesung likes to sing the most even avoiding transitions into his falsetto, but is also where he shows the most issues vocally. Although having a very consistent column of sound and resonance up until G4 and G#4, such as the F#4’s in “인형” and “사랑밖에 난 몰라” and G#4’s in “LaLaLa Love Song“, “I Do” and even more recently in the 2015 KRY Concert with “광환문에서“, Yesung’s mix still lacks the necessary freedom and lightness it would naturally need in order for him to be able to take on the higher challenging parts of songs for a longer period of time. Even though pushed resonance has been achieved with consistent support up until A4 in songs like “사랑할수록“, at other times the distortion caused by the excessive pushing of chest in his mix can create a less resonant and more pushed sound in other performances of the same song. This distortion doesn’t necessarily take away from his health as much as it takes away from his resonance and optimum freedom in sound. The issue with his mixed voice is that Yesung’s mixed voice is often pushed and cause him to have a lot of vocal tension and be vocally fatigued quite easily due to the excessive effort made by his throat, as opposed to a healthier diaphragmatic approach, something that has improved overtime without doubt if contrasting his current singing in his mixed voice with his earlier singing such as in 2006, with the G4’s in “자유롭게 날 수 있도록” and “기도“. More recently, tension and improper vowel shaping in his throat have caused too much constriction in his throat and he’s been unable to mix G#4’s with proper openness to produce resonance and as such, notes above G4 are very inconsistent and support is countered by the throat tension, such as in “문 열어봐”.

Although improvement has been noted in his mixed voice over the years and he has been able to create more freedom and use a less heavy approach to his mixed voice up to A4, there is still a considerable amount of strain and shouting in the upper part of his mixed voice. Instead of lightening up his mix as he ascends into the top of his range, Yesung uses a harder approach in his mix by pushing his chest voice as far as possible without properly blending his head voice into his mixed voice to create a brighter and more relaxed sound, such as the Bb4 in “이별 참 나답다” and the B4’s in “널 기다리며” and “한 사람만을 (The One I Love)“. There have also been issues with consistency in his range around G#4/A4 such as in “너 아니면 안돼“, due to reasons perhaps related to vocal health or the fact that he’s singing in a more closed vowel with a closed throat shape. Oftentimes due to the pushing in his throat and chest voice, Yesung’s mixed voice can sound not only yelled, but also constricted and blocked with a somewhat strangled quality due to the excessive tension present in it. Nonetheless he still possesses one of the most consistent and resonant mixed voices amongst idol male vocalists up to A4.

His falsetto register is often not used and is not highlighted in his singing. He has shown that even in song covers where the original artist may transition into their upper register, Yesung will instead belt out the higher notes to perhaps dodge sloppy transitions into his falsetto, such as in “그 아픔까지 사랑한거야“. Yesung has shown in the past that he is able to produce a controlled and well connected head voice, such as in “한 사람만을 (The One I Love)“, even up to G5, but that ability isn’t often explored as his use of head voice is inconsistent, not to mention that the head voice may be connected, but still lacks freedom in the vocal tract shape and thus isn’t supported and sounds tight and small. Most of the time, Yesung sings with a more falsetto sound in his upper range, with a slightly husky and disconnected throaty quality to it, such as in “Gray Paper” and “너 아니면 안돼“.

Yesung’s rock style can often cause him to opt for a more throaty quality in singing style but also allows for him to fully engage his audience by using the correct use of his husky voice to create a genuine vocal performance within the rock genre. When it comes to a more R&B style approach to his singing, Yesung’s voice shows a strong influence from one of SM’s composers, Yoo Youngjin and takes on his trademark sound with loose vocal runs and a mellower closed sound such as in “From U“. At times his voice can become tense and he can have some jaw tension when singing with a vibrato and he at times has issues keeping a consistently lifted soft palate, all of which are issues that may be caused by a stylistic approach to his singing. He still possesses a very good ear for dynamic approaches even if technically he may not be able to correctly control crescendos and diminuendos in his mixed voice due to a lack of blending in his mixed voice to allow a brighter and lighter mixed voice.

Currently in August 2015, the approach with which Yesung uses on his voice and technique has taken a toll on his singing and he is suffering from vocal nodules. The vocal nodules themselves haven’t exactly hindered his vocal ability for the time being but can be a major issue in the long run if he doesn’t change his vocal habits and doesn’t find healthier approaches to his voice in general, as well as healthier practicing habits and resting. He is a vocalist with a distinctive sound and a very popular singing style who has the potential to go far as a solo artist, but should really consider improving his mixed voice and head voice in order to create a brighter approach to his voice so that he can take on more challenging songs without causing as much strain to his voice. Differently from Ryeowook or Kyuhyun, Yesung doesn’t respect his vocal limits well enough and thus often sings outside his supported range, causing his voice damage, which could potentially become permanent. By adopting a less heavy and pushed technique to his singing, he could develop his voice further into its full potential and avoid any sort of vocal health issues in the future.

Musicianship

Genre wise and stylistically speaking, Yesung is more centered towards a Rock style of music, hence adding random adlibs, runs and overly excessive high or low notes isn’t exactly his approach to covering songs. He generally sticks to the root of doing the song justice by singing as the original vocalist would, which leaves a lot of room for comparison but also gives him the freedom to concentrate on the more interpretative side of his vocal performances. Occasionally and due to vocal issues, Yesung has shown that he is willing to change the melody of songs around in order to avoid vocal issues, such as in more recent performances of “한사람만을 (The One I Love)” where Yesung dodges the B4 in the bridge with a downward run, in order to save his voice from the vocal strain by adding his own different melody to the song.

Rating

Above Average Vocalist
(Highest peak: Competent vocalist prior to 2013)

Vocal Range Video(s)

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

186 thoughts on “Super Junior’s Vocal Analysis: Yesung

  1. Hi ahmin!!!

    I THINK YESUNG HAS recovered significatnly since his regression, maybe because previously he was in the military and wasn’t singing often. There’s been a lot of dvd material released recently on kry’s 2016 concert and I see an improvement since 2015 wherein Yesung JUST came out of the army.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL-5AJl328I is a good example imo –> 2:53 sounds pretty well placed and without the normal problems Yesung has with voice cracking/grating when he reaches those high notes.

    Here’s a direct comparison : 1. 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWqyxh1mz4g
    2. 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpjGSjZBQSA

    Please at least look at 0:54 and 1:21 Yesung’s part in both videos cos that’s where I noticed a massive difference in consistency. In 2015 Yesung seems like the notes are out of range and that his throat is really clogged or something, in 2016 it’s clearer, notes are better on pitch and at the very least even I can tell he’s a lot more relaxed and sounding like a tenor.

    Would be great if this could elicit a change in current vocal rating –> if not I understand. 🙂

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I’m hearing is a huge difference caused by much better vocal condition as opposed to improvement in technique. In the 2015 vs 2016 clips, I hear a lack of proper vocal stretch and connection of his vocal cords in the transitions, but in the 2016 video, he sounds a lot less airy and a lot more connected, which is much better but he’s still showing me lots of issues that wouldn’t change his rating I’m afraid. 2:39 in 2016 Dorothy, that’s a G4 and though support is there, there’s a lot of constriction caused by improper vowel shape and throat shape. 1:06 Aye G#4, again too tense and closed. He could much more opened. Even the A4 you highlighted in the first video, it is much less closed than others but it’s just a high larynx, it’s thin, it’s shouty. But his condition is better, so health wise this is great news but I’m afraid his technique seems to be the same.

      The clip from Duet Song Festival also shows similar issues, placing his voice too low in the back of his threat and chest, like these notes 3:02 F4 3:12 G#4, where the sound is too thick and placed too low so he sounds stuck and he’s limiting his projection. 3:42 A4 same thing.

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      1. oh ok, well at least there is some kind of recovery in condition, if not improvement in technique, I’m still crossing my fingers for the future though.

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    1. I heard a lot of whispered notes in the second octave throughout the verse, some somewhat supported but pushed G#4’s in the chorus. I don’t hear a change in his vocal habits at all. He is singing exactly how he’s always sung. He is pushing too much with a placement that’s too low, especially on some of those sustained G#4’s. The other videos have nice harmonies, the range is less challenging, but there’s again no change in his technique. 2:27 like that G#4 in the BANBAN live, with the English title. 2:50 third video, he produces resonance on F#4, he just pushes too much.

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  2. Are 3:20, 3:44, 3:50 4:10 parts examples of Yesung’s head voice? If so, I’ve never seen so much head voice in one performance by him lol.

    Did the G#4/A4/A#’4s at 3:01, 3:34, 3:37, 4:14 have any support at all? Or were they all completely strained/pushed?

    Lastly is the C5 2:28 more of a heady strain or a pushed chestier mix?

    Sorry for all the questions.

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    1. 3:20 there’s no head voice there, that was in his mix and it wasn’t even that high. It was around F4. 3:44 that too was just F4, and it was mixd. 3:50 a slightly pushed head voice with underdeveloped, F5. 4:10 again, no, this was another mixed F4. It wasn’t even really similar to head voice actually. 3:37 the G#4’s are pushed but have support, but the 3:01 and 3:34 Bb4’s are just in his throat. 4:14 again very closed. 2:28 a chesty throaty C5.

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    1. Since your question sin’t very specific, I am not sure what you want to know or how much you want to know. He didn’t go below C3, he didn’t go above Bb4 in falsetto and his highest mix was the G#4 at 2:07 which was pushed and had tension but still had enough support to show us that there is no change to his technique.

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      1. Thanks so much for your reply! I know my question isn’t specific cause I just wanna hear what you would say about that.. (and I know so little about vocal analysis)… But lately yesung sounds a lot less strained compared to 2013-2015 so I think it’s certainly a good sign for him… Technique-wise I always have thought that he has good skills, since he changes from real voice to falsetto/mixed voice quite easily, and his falsetto is always well supported in my opinion. So I was a bit shocked when you rate him as a above-average vocalist. In your point of view what would you like him to improve in terms of singing techniques? (sorry if its already answered, maybe I didn’t quite get the point so would you mind answering me again once? Thanks so much in advance!)

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      2. He would have to change how he puts weight in his voice. He drags the sound from the back of the throat and keeps it there when he gets higher and then just kind of shouts out with his chest voice without even really attempting to support it. He’d really have to re-think his mixing technique.

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