Heo Gayoon’s Vocal Analysis

Vocal Range

E3 ~ G5 (2 octaves, 1 note and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

Bb3 ~ A4/Bb4

Voice Type



  • Strongest vocalist in 4Minute
  • Support is an understood concept in her voice allowing good legato to happen
  • Able to keep a relaxed sound within her supported range
  • Mixed voice has support up to A4/Bb4
  • Chest voice shows support down to Bb3
  • Able to properly harmonize well when confident with her song choice
  • Vocal placement helps projection in the voice
  • Transitions to falsetto can happen with a certain degree of smoothness

Points for Improvement

  • Vocal registers are uneven and disconnected
  • No vocal register is developed well
  • Nasality is very present throughout her registers
  • Unable to keep a relaxed sound above Bb4
  • Inconsistencies happen even within her supported range
  • Her throat is often very closed and pushing happens early on in range
  • Falsetto is airy and often throaty
  • Voice is not agile and often struggles with vocal runs
  • Pitch can be an issue and inconsistent depending on the day
  • Tongue tension is very present in her upper mixed range
  • Lower range below Bb3 often becomes airy and unsupported


  • Lower register: Not a well developed nor explored register. Her voice generally becomes airy and lacks projection in this area of her voice, but she at least does not try to force her larynx down to create tone usually.
  • Mixed register: Her slightly more developed register where her voice shows most support and the best projection. Good placement and support are lost early on in range around Bb4, where her voice becomes throaty and pushed.
  • Upper register: Although a relaxed register, it is generally airy, disconnected and lacks in terms of dynamics. Transitions can at times be sloppy and pitchy.


Possessing an underdeveloped breathing technique, it is no surprise that Gayoon’s lack of R&B-flair also shows in her general attempts at vocal runs. Generally her voice lacks the full help of a developed full sound and due to the lack of breath control, Gayoon seems to struggle to keep a steady control of pitch when attempting vocal runs. Her few attempts result usually in pitchy and sloppy runs where not every note is hit accurately and there is no real connection of flow or rhythm throughout, such as the runs in “길에서“, “24/7“, “Halo” and “Because Of You“.

Overall analysis

Debuting in 2009 as a main vocalist of the group 4Minute, Gayoon earned her title as the main vocalist by successfully developing her skill to keep her as the strongest vocalist within her group. A very bright, girly and light voice that generally shines more in her mid to higher range, Gayoon’s fach would best be described as a Light Lyric Soprano.

The lower portion of her chest voice is generally quite relaxed and not strained. Gayoon is not a vocalist who artificially tries to alter her tone in her lower range by pushing down her larynx and instead accepts that her voice naturally gets quieter and softer in sound as she descends in range. The support of her lower range is usually limited to B3/Bb3, where her voice still keeps a certain amount of stability as well as tone and support, such as in “애국가” and “님은 먼곳에“. Below Bb3, her voice begins to lose tone and support, resulting in a more shaky sound and airiness generally takes over with a lack of true projection, such as the A3’s in “늴리리야“, G#3’s in”If I Were A Boy” , F#3’s in “Yuki No Hana” and and the E3 in “님은 먼곳에“.

Her mixed voice range is where Gayoon’s voice finds most comfort, projection and stability. Within the range from C4 ~ A4/Bb4, her voice generally projects well and she’s able to keep support with a considerable amount of a relaxed sound output. She has shown in numerous occasions that she can keep a supported sound up to the top of that range, such as the A4’s in “No. 1” and  Bb4’s in “애국가” and “마음이 다쳐서“, where her voice is mostly more opened and with little to no pushing, she’s able to maintain her larynx stable and throat relaxed. She has also shown that this might not always be a consistent occurrence and at times she may push her sound out with her throat even within her supported range, such as the A4’s in “Why Not“. Above Bb4, it seems that Gayoon does not fully understand how to keep her throat opened and generally pushes the sound out by closing her throat around her larynx and keeping tension in order to produce to sound. This results in a very constricted, less projected and inwardly placed voice as opposed to an opened, resonant and amplified sound. Examples can be heard in the B4’s of “늴리리야“, C5 of “24/7“, C#5’s of “거울아 거울아” and “Heart To Heart“, D5’s in “미쳐 (Crazy)” and E5 in “Pinocchio“, where her throat becomes very tight and the sound loses tone, color and the tongue generally tightens up the back of her throat, creating a compressed and limited amount of volume output.

One of her least explored registers is her falsetto register. Differently from a well trained Soprano, Gayoon did not develop a fully connected head voice throughout her training years and instead resorts to a more disconnected and softer sounding falsetto instead. This usage of falsetto generally results is less projection and more air, with less dynamics to work with. The excessive air present in her falsetto register can potentially irritate her vocal cords and does not allow for her to fully control the upper part of her voice, such as the E5’s and F#5’s in “추운 비” and the G5’s in “12:30“. This airy approach to the upper part of her voice can often sound pretty but neglects a fully developed voice able to perform in many different sounds and dynamics, limiting the full potential of a truly developed and connected head voice. The airiness can also result in sloppiness when it comes to transitions and cause her to become pitchy and lose her stability, such as in “얼음꽃“.

Apart from her generally underdeveloped voice, her placement is mostly located in her nose, causing her sound to lack true amplitude and resonance and become muffled and blocked. Her inconsistency in breath control can also result in pitch issues throughout performances as well as issues with transitions and control. Gayoon can at times, within a reasonably narrow range, produce a desirable amount of support in order to control her voice, but when taken out of that range she’s unable to create different dynamics with her voice, losing power in her upper mixed voice, volume and projection in her lower range and connection in her upper register. These flaws in her vocal technique could eventually lead to vocal damage and cause her to lose range and not be able to sing with the same instrument as she does not, causing potential health risks for her vocal cords.

Perhaps not debuting as a member of a vocally centered group but more of a dance-pop group kept Gayoon from fully developing her craft and technique over the years. Perhaps not being given the right amount of time, training, focus or even opportunities to develop herself as a solo vocalist also took a toll on the final result of her as a vocalist today. Whatever the reason might be, Gayoon’s main focus in order to keep a long career as a vocalist and entertainer should be to go back to the basics and focus on breathing technique as well as relaxing and allowing less tension in her voice to truly develop her voice to its full potential.


Although not heavily influencing her overall skill as a vocalist, Gayoon is not a very risky vocalist. She does not attempt hard vocal runs, melodic changes or tries to make songs too different from the original. She generally simplifies songs as much as possible and sticks to the original melody line as she attempts to sing through them as opposed to focusing on making it overly different. Her best vocal skill is that she is able to control her pitch and keep a substantial amount of vocal dynamic control and an ear for pitch by harmonizing well with others when confident about her vocal part, such as in “If I Ain’t Got You“.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

46 thoughts on “Heo Gayoon’s Vocal Analysis

  1. with just 2 octave range, does this make her a limited vocalist? also, this vocal range of her, is it supported or else?
    sorry for my english


    1. Well, she’s limiting herself more than anything else. E3 ~ G5 definitely isn’t the full extent of her vocal range she definitely should be able to go higher than G5, G5 for a soprano really isn’t that high..it’s high..but not THAT high. Her range is E3 ~ G5 which is 2. octaves 1 note and her Supported range is Bb3 ~ A4/Bb4 which is an octave.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s too bad for her, considering she is the main vocalist of a group 😦

        a bit off, listening to vocalist with narrow range for me they sound like flat. i actually don’t know what the best words to describe this feeling, you know it feels like they just sing in that notes. say Gayoon and Soyou, even Minkyung they tend to sing in that narrow range, not go low or high. i was like expecting they’ll suddenly hit high notes, but not happen. while other vocalist would try to hit desperately (with much strain and effort). oh wait, what am i talking about? i hope you could understand it 😀
        if not, that’s okay. guess i have to learn english more haha

        one more thing, is there any vocalist with 2 octave range but stand out to you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haeri and Lee Hi also have a limited range, although it is possible that it might be due to the fact that they don’t try to sing outside their support zone.

        Besides, range has nothing to do with the skills. Believe me or not but I possessed an almost 4 octaves (I can hit C2 if I lowered my larynx, which makes me able to hit C2-B5) but I’m an classified under weak (or even terrible) vocalist. LOL.

        I’m a lyric tenor, by the way.


  2. that range is….. very narrow. it’s kind rare for girl, i think. as i expected, pre-debut video is one of the best perf from her. thank you for good analysis like usual

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She more than likely can go higher than G5 she just hasn’t yet. Really, every girl should at least be able to a C6 if her vocal cords are healthy especially a Soprano. C6 is called Soprano C for a reason lol. That being said if her range was more E3 ~ Bb5 or E3 ~ B5 that would be acceptable/logical.. but E3 ~ G5 definitely is not her full range.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello,
        You had said that “Really, every girl should at least be able to a C6 if her vocal cords are healthy especially a Soprano.” However, your site analyzes many girls who cannot support a C6 (Taeyeon, Tiffany, etc.) so do you simply mean that all girls should be able to reach the note even if they cannot support/sustain it? I am wondering because I am a girl but I do not think I would include a C6 in my range given that it would likely hurt my voice to sing it (granted, I don’t know if I’m a Soprano or not and I have also never been trained on how to properly sing). I’d probably consider my range to be E3-F#5. As a girl, should I be able to sing a C6 or is that the kind of thing that usually requires training?


      2. I think you misunderstood what register I was talking about. Every girl regardless of voice type should be able to strain a head voice C6. Tiffany and Taeyeon can’t support C6 in falsetto, but they could surely hit it, even without training you should be able to squeak it out at least.


      3. “Really, every girl should at least be able to a C6 if her vocal cords are healthy especially a Soprano.”

        On a somewhat related note, how low should a baritone and tenor be able to support once properly trained?


      4. Well that depends on their voice, but it isn’t unreasonable to expect tenors to be able to handle C3’s and baritones A2’s or even G2’s. Now many times, considering contemporary singing allows more use of your lower range than classical singing because we have microphones, it isn’t unreasonable to think that tenors could handle the second octave as well.


      5. So the two things I’m hearing is that you’re using a very thick and pushed approach in your chest voice. You drag your sound from a lowered pushed down larynx with a lot of roughness and tension, it’s too heavy and too thick. Even in your low notes. Now you have a nice tone so it may mask away part of the tension. The runs you use too much air, you always add random Hs like O-ho-ho or “fa-haye-haye-ce” and then for faster runs there’s no precision such as the “running through my darkness night.”


      6. Hey thanks for listening! Sorry for the late reply, have been busy for the past few days. I’ll make sure to tell my teacher about that the next time I have lessons.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really glad that this vocal analysis exists. Even though I’m a harcore Jiyoon fan, I always knew that Gayoon was a better vocalist (albeit not by much) but it’s the little things that count while Jiyoon is too show offy with her vocals. Thanks for the sweet vocal analysis! I really do hope that 2Yoon can improve their vocals if future 4minute songs allow them to.


  4. “Support is an understood concept in her voice allowing good legato to happen”
    “Her voice generally becomes airy and lacks projection in this area of her voice, but she at least does not try to force her larynx down to create tone usually.”
    Lol good shade thrown at Jiyoon XD
    Is Sohyun pretty much between them?


    1. It wasn’t supposed to be shade haha it was more like most weak vocalists can’t even carry legato and many vocalists push down their larynxes. Sohyun would kind of be in between yes.


  5. Is 4minute the only mayor Idol group that doesn’t have at least 1 vocalist be Average? Also this blog has been really eye opening. So many idols are a lot worse than i thought they were (Gayoon and Jiyoon, Minah, JeA, Changmin, Daesung) and some are better than I expected (Chen, Taemin, Sandeul, Raina). I love how in depth it is, along with all the video evidence you give. It’s been a really good read.


    1. KARA and Dal Shabet don’t have any average vocalist there are definitely more those are just the ones that come to mind quickly. I’m glad that you have learn from this blog and don’t attack us if you don’t agree with how we rate vocalist, it means a lot to everyone involved.


  6. Ok I know I was thinking about doing a vocal range video for her a long time ago but knowing her rating and range I’m sorry but I will not do it. If she improves and has more range, yes but no for now. I wanted to ask you their are groups in kpop that focus alot more on sexuality, looks and dancing than singing. For example 4minute, Hello Venus, Dal Shabet, Stellar, KARA and etc. How do you feel about that? I know kpop is not all about singing but really people listen to you because they like your voices. What makes me upset is how groups like AOA really cared about singing and even playing instruments but they did not get enough attention. But then of course they did some of the most sexual dances in kpop and focused didn’t focus on singing then they got popular!


    1. Actually Stellar might have a vocalist worthy of attention but not the others lol I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a group focusing on sexy images rather than vocals, I just think fans should be aware of that when they try to claim that their favorite vocalist is the best ever, when they’re not even trying to be good.


      1. Yeah true. I don’t really have anything wrong with it but what they could of been is amazing like how AOA started. It’s just I prefer groups like Mamamoo who focus more on vocals but people like different things.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually yeah it’s totally fine, it’s relevant to the vocalist in the analysis! ^ ^ I watched this before so I had said this about it:

      “This song was mostly on Bb4 and below, where she did fine. Most falsetto transitions were fine, pretty airy, pretty weak but normal usual falsetto. 1:03 Bb4, could be better but it’s not bad. 1:05 quick tight C5. 2:14 strained C5. 2:52 quick C5, strained 3:02 quite strained Eb5. 3:22 strained C5. So as you see, although I feel this might be one of her best vocal performances, it’s full vocal strain and technique issues which were well explained in the analysis “


    1. I didn’t think she did on the last video I watched of hers. I can’t say based on a new song and MV. Live performances will tell me.


    1. You can sing softly and still support, she was half supporting in the beginning, so she sounded generally flat. 0:12 the B3 wasn’t bad. 0:22ish B4 was the highest mixed before the falsetto C#5 and it was really tight and throaty. She sounds just too airy and so her pitch is flat throughout. Cool song though. Oh wait no the chorus came, now I know why my friend said it was weird. lol Oh yay Jiyoon is rapping, good for her. Tension for Gayoon anywhere above A4, therefore nothing new.


    1. To be brief, they sound pitchy and shaky vocally. They all sound kind of nasal and their pitch isn’t centered for any of them. Not just Jihyun and Soohyun, but also Gayoon and Jiyoon. Gayoon sounds really tight in the upper parts and the falsetto transitions aren’t too good. There’s nothing new, no improvement.


  7. Hi, I came to inform you guys that as of today, 4 Minute has disbanded, and that everyone else safe for Hyuna is no longer under Cube 😦 I’m assuming the title will change?
    This year is really a curse. So many 2nd generation groups falling apart now that their contracts have ended.


    1. Actually, I’ll take it back. Apparently the other members are still discussing whether or not they’ll disband. Contracts aren’t done until June 15th. They will prob disband anyways though.


  8. I don’t know if you had checked this Gayoon’s cover ( you probably did ) but can you just told me if I’m right : Gayoon’s voice is made for ballads.


    1. This song is mentioned in the analysis, had you read it you’d know that yes, I have checked it. I don’t know if I agree that her voice is MADE for ballads, but with her current level of skill, singing softer ballads with a lot of falsetto suits her more than songs that require a higher level of vocal development.


  9. Wow, I remember how surprised I was when I first found this entry, and it was when I started keeping up with this blog. Gayoon used to be like my vocal goals because I thought her voice was flawless, so you can imagine how shocked I was when she was rated as Weak to Average. This post was very enlightening, and even though I still love her voice, I totally agree now that her vocals and technique aren’t the best. But I also love her ‘Heart Damage/마음이 다쳐서’ performance so much~

    But I’m curious. Is Gayoon one of the better vocalists in the Weak to Average category? Does she lean more towards the Weak side or the Average side, if it’s possible to tell?


    1. Honestly, when I was like 16 I used to think Tiffany was vocal goals, which was..very..very wrong. lol I completely understand you haha I don’t wanna give you any spoilers, but Gayoon is on the higher end of the weak to average vocalists category for females. ^ ^ You’ll find out once our chart comes out exactly where.


  10. I know it is old but why Gayoon got Mid range vocalist while Krystal, Min aren’t?? i know their support sense is shallow and inconsistent but either does Gayoon. none of E4/F4 tenor like Changmin/Taehyun got mid range vocalist so i want to know why


    1. No no Gayoon had tension with support but her sense of support was always much more well established and stronger than their. The people who didn’t get it is because their support is too shallow.


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