KARA’s Vocal Analysis: Gyuri


Vocal Range

F#3 ~ G5 (2 octaves and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

B3/C4 ~ G#4

Voice Type

Light Lyric Soprano


  • Able to sing with a smooth legato line
  • Some support is present in her voice
  • Able to keep a more relaxed sound up to G#4
  • Lower range can have tone down to G#3
  • Transitions into a somewhat connected head voice can happen
  • Pitch issues aren’t too common
  • Voice isn’t generally airy


  • The larynx is almost never in a neutral position
  • Lower range is generally airy
  • Voice projects almost exclusively through her nose
  • Whiny quality present in most of her singing
  • Lacks a true sense of development in her chest voice and resonance
  • Voice lacks dynamics and power
  • Mixed voice is always light and whiny
  • Higher notes above G#4 generally carry tension and become shrill
  • Vibrato is wobbly and uncontrolled
  • Falsetto is often produced with a high larynx and a thin sound
  • The voice is mostly thin, bright and produced with weak support
  • No register in her voice is truly developed


  • Lower register: Tone has been kept down to G#3 at times but for the most part, her voice is very airy and quiet below B3. Has not really showcased much of this range and has yet to truly sing her lowest note.
  • Mixed register: Most of her mixed voice is quite head-dominant, she lacks a sense of roundness in tone, projecting her voice through her nose in a thin, quiet and bright mixed voice with weak support and shakiness in tone.
  • Upper register: Falsetto register can at times be her best register, her transitions aren’t too bad and she can produce tone with not too much effort even if a true sense of support in her sometimes showcased head voice is not present.


Being a very non stylistic singer nor technical vocalist, Gyuri doesn’t often attempt very difficult vocal performances. She generally sings with a very clean, monotone sound in her voice and doesn’t take many risks with singing, one of those being the challenge of a vocal run. If anything Gyuri avoids vocal runs as much as she can, even in songs where vocal runs could be added, she sings the melody as cleanly as possible. In the few occasions where she’s attempted anything vocally challenging, it’s easy to tell that not only is she not able to properly separate vocal runs individually, note by note and good rhythmic flow, she also simplifies her vocal runs as much as possible and slows down the tempo in order to make it as simple and easy as possible for herself, such as the runs in “Hush Hush (I Will Survive)“.

Overall analysis

Having debuted in KARA as a possible lead vocalist in 2007, alongside Sunghee and Seungyeon, after the departure of their strongest vocalist to date, Sunghee, Gyuri has taken the role of lead/main vocalist with Seungyeon ever since. Vocally it is quite easy to tell that Gyuri possesses one of the most girly, brightest and lightest voices amongst K-pop female idol vocalists. Probably due to the fact that her singing habits cause her to sing in a very bright way, it is unclear what her true vocal tone would be if she were to improve her vocal technique but it is safe to assume she’d most likely be classified as a Light Lyric Soprano or to some, even a Soubrette.

The lower part of Gyuri’s range is not only underdeveloped, it is also very under explored. Gyuri doesn’t usually tend to sing songs that stay in a low range for her, so although she’s shown to be able to sing as low as F#3, it is possible that she could probably sing somewhat lower if she was given the chance to. Her lower range, much like the rest of her range, lacks in development and tone. For the most part she sings with a very light, airy tone and doesn’t try to add volume or tone to her voice, allowing the softness of the air that comes through her vocal cords to take over instead of trying to push her larynx down to project in her lower range. Most of the time when Gyuri sings low, her voice becomes muffled and unclear in tone, such as the G3 in “Dear Kamilia“, the G#3 in “Rock U“, the A3’s in “백일몽“, the Bb3’s in “White Love” and “Honey“. The only times a clearer sense of some support is present with more tone in her voice is when she sings above B3, such as in “백일몽” and “A Whole New World“. There have been occasions where she’s shown a more fuller tone below B3, even if the support in her voice was still weak, such as the G#3 in “숙녀가 못돼“, something that’s happened in more recent years indicating at least a little bit of an improvement in her approach to her lower range.

Her mixed voice is where she sings the most and where she mostly shows the most issues. Despite being a Soprano, Gyuri shows almost no signs of true vocal support in her voice being able to keep a more neutral and relaxed sound in her voice only from the C4 ~ G#4 range, whereas anything above that generally becomes weaker in tone, shrill, whiny and pushed with a lack of power. Her mixing is quite head-dominant, making her voice even brighter in tone as it projects almost only through her nose. The many occasions in which Gyuri sings in her mixed voice above C5, her tone becomes mostly thinner and her voice sounds quite closed and almost strangled, such as the C5’s in “Pretty Girl” and “Lupin“, C#5’s in “White Love“, D5’s in the piano acoustic version of “Pretty Girl” and in “Pandora“, the F5 in “Hush Hush (I Will Survive)” and the sustained F#5 in “Cupid“. Now being unable to sing with a neutral larynx in the 5th octave is shockingly not too uncommon for Sopranos in pop music, however the weakness of her mixed voice is even more accentuated when sustaining notes in the upper 4th octave, where her voice still shows signs of shrillness, tightness and pushing, such as the A4’s in “A Whole New World” and “그땐 그냥“, the Bb4’s in “あなたがいるから“, the B4’s in “백일몽” and “Honey“.

One of the best aspects of Gyuri’s mix being so head-dominant is that at times, with the fact that she’s able to sing with a light but not airy approach to her mix, she’s able to use a somewhat connected head voice in her transitions. It’s somewhat hard to distinguish her falsetto from her head voice, but one can say her upper register is mostly a head voice that lacks a true sense of support, thus becoming often tight and being sung with a high larynx. Her transitions into her head voice are often smoother than many, being able to go back and forth without losing her sense of pitch, such as in “A Whole New World” and “あなたがいるから“. There used to be times in which Gyuri would have issues with her transitions when the intervals between the notes she was attempting to go for was larger, but that seems to have improved as heard in the falsetto transition of “Mamma Mia“. The higher Gyuri goes, the thinner and more closed her as she ascends into the F5 ~ G5 range, such as in “明日がくるなら“. For the most part Gyuri’s not able to use a proper sense of support and fulness in tone in her upper register, by singing with an often high larynx and a closed throat.

Above all, not only are Gyuri’s vocal registers barely developed, Gyuri barely shows a sense of dynamics and musicality in her singing. For the most part, she’s unable to properly play with dynamics in her vocal performances singing with a very monotone approach for most of her songs. There are times where a conscious effort is made in order to project her voice louder and create more power, by switching back and forth from mixed voice to a head voice, but even then that approach is often met with issues of shrillness, strain and lack of support. Another sign of very weak support in Gyuri’s voice is how wobbly and unstable her vibrato is. It generally happens at the end of many notes she sings, whether she wants to add it or not, it seems to happen when she’s running out of air and isn’t able to properly engage a diaphragmatic approach to her breathing technique.

Although Gyuri may be a vocalist who lacks in many technical aspects, KARA as a whole was never meant to be marketed as a vocal group. Gyuri has never prided herself in being an excellent vocalist and doesn’t try to overcompensate with complex songs and difficult vocal passages. She’s a vocalist who’s able to use the specific vocal approach she uses to her singing to her advantage by singing music that often sounds better with high-pitched, whiny and squeaky girly voices. Perhaps not having a big bright long future as a girl group in Korea may be an issue for KARA as a whole, but as a J-pop act, their nasal approach to their singing makes them fit right in and works very well for them as a selling point in Japan.


For the most part, Gyuri is not a very eccentric vocalist. She doesn’t try to sing songs that are too show off-y, she doesn’t try to sing songs that overly challenging for her and she doesn’t try to add much to her vocal performances, she mostly stays in a reasonably narrow range where she knows she can somewhat control her voice and sings with a more controlled pitch. In rare occasions she’s been able to show that singing is not the only thing she does and she is able to play piano and in a more comfortable setting like that, she’s been able to show original melodic changes, even if subtle and minimal changes, such as in the acoustic piano version of “Pretty Girl“.


Weak Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Viettien81212

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

44 thoughts on “KARA’s Vocal Analysis: Gyuri

    1. She did have a lot of potential. After checking this specific link:

      I can say that Gyuri used to have slightly better support and a less weak approach to her singing but her technique regressed whereas Sunghee was obviously the one with the strongest least nasal voice and best placement. I believe Sunghee would be weak to average, average or MAYBE average to above average at most. Most likely she’d be an average vocalist though. Nicole regressed quite a bit too.


      1. So the group regressed… seriously, I thought they were not bad in the Break It stages I’d seen, so I guess it makes sense. o.o


      2. In the first one she’s more nasal, more pushed and a lot pitchier, in the second one she’s less nasal but still nasal, brighter and her pitch is much better.


      3. Thanks! So if Sunghee was already average at debut when she was maybe 18 I think, if she had improved, she would have been a prettty awesome singer today. It’s a shame we’ll never know if she would be up there with Hyorin and Ailee….Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. One little question, would Sunghee be a Full Lyric Soprano? I only ask because her voice always sounded so rich and controlled to me in her live performances with Kara. So I assumed she had a significantly better technique.Or maybe just in comparison to the other three made her seem better than she was?


      5. I do believe Sunghee sounds different than a light lyric soprano, but I’m not sure she has enough maturity in her voice to be a full lyric. I think it’s a possibility though but I can’t give you a definite answer.


  1. Hello, I know this question will be hard to answer but do you think Youngji is a better vocalist than Gyui? Just going off the small amount of material I’ve seen of her, she does seem better. And also, is Gyuri better than Hara? Thanks!


    1. I think Youngji may be slightly better than Gyuri but she’d be a weak vocalist just like her. Gyuri is definitely better than Hara.


  2. It was very nice, honestly, I’m not gonna try and comment on your technique because if have no idea haha. For the rating, maybe Good or Good to Great? I really have no idea so please don’t be offended haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha that is very good haha thanks for that, it made my day. I can be hard on myself so I would often say Competent to Good but the other contributors, Haruko specially, has said many times she’d rate me as good. So I guess on a good day I could be good? haha


      1. Ahmin, I want to ask this for long time ago since someone has started it so… You’re a good vocalist but what is your ‘achievements and weakness’ from your singing skill? I’m just curious xD


      1. Is Sooyoung better than her? If so, what Sooyoung has that makes her better? It’s so bad that a whole group have no average vocalists. Wouldn’t it be the basics? Having an average vocalist isn’t asking too much, is it? lol


      2. I don’t know if Sooyoung is better than her, she has a head voice but Sooyoung also has bad pitch and weak support, if anything they’re the same. They used to have an average vocalist, then she left.


  3. “but as a J-pop act, their nasal approach to their singing makes them fit right in and works very well for them as a selling point in Japan”

    I had a good laugh here LMAO I love my jpop but their thing for nasal singing really bothers me sometimes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well like I tell you many many times, don’t trust the ratings I give you for vocalists I haven’t analyzed because I can only give an approximated rating.


      1. u didn’t tell me that, i just saw it somewhere when someone asked so i brought it up. i didn’t think she’d go lower is all, like when i asked ariana grande she’s still the samexD


      2. Well most of the time isn’t even about regressing, I just can only estimate it and I usually estimate it higher than it really is for safety.


  4. Always exciting to dig into new analyses ahaha, thank you Ahmin ^^. Honestly this isn’t really a surprise but I don’t think Gyuri is really known for her singing? KARA seem more focused on promoting themselves as entertainers than singers (but idrk not really a big fan of their music). I’m probably a bit biased in saying this but would it be safe to say Gyuri has the poorest placement among Kpop idol sopranos (gosh that sounds really harsh but I just like making comparisons and drawing conclusions like this)? Like … I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone so nasal before and idek anything about singing lol. Also, I used to think Yerin had the worst lower range among kpop idol sopranos (Everything below Bb3 was just pure air for her, I think?). Could Gyuri possibly contest that too … even though she sometimes maintains tone down to G#3?

    Alsoooo you’ve probably been asked this a billion times already, but high larynx has a distinctly whiny quality, right? Is there anything else you could use to identify it because I’m listening to the videos mentioned in the analysis about Gyuri’s incorrect larynx positions in the fourth and fifth octaves and I don’t hear any whininess (except in the C5 in Pretty Girl but I think that’s just because of the way the note cuts off kinda strangely). I hear whining in her voice in general but not in the specific timestamps in the videos linked in the anaylsis. It’s probably because I’m untrained and I can’t quite pick out the whininess yet, but if there’s another way to identify high larnyx … that’d be cool lmao.

    Also (I’m so sorry for all these questions oTL I think this blog is my new procrastination fuel and I’m just really curious) what does high larynx feel like? Does it hurt your throat when you sing with a raised larynx? And can you stay well-supported even if your larynx is lowered/raised?


    1. I think if it wasn’t for Jungah, she’d be the worst. Gyuri does have very bad placement, it’s so nasal I barely even understand just how she’s able to sing like that all the time.. Many of the weak Sopranos are just as bad if not worse than Yerin, Yerin is just one of the worst when it comes to better vocalists haha.

      High larynxes are mostly whiny but they just tend to sound thin and strangled more so than anything else. It’s about the thin quality in the singing, like the voice sounds lighter and thinner than their tone in the lower range, as opposed to a brighter sound. Singing with a high larynx does hurt your throat yes. You can’t possibly be using proper support if your larynx isn’t neutral, those two things are kind of always hand in hand.


      1. Oh daaang, you’re really quick ahah.

        Yeah, Gyuri does sound really nasal and I just completely blanked and forgot about Jungah somehow, but the gap between them isn’t particularly big, right o:? I don’t really understand it either ahah, she can probably feel her voice in her nose when she sings that way, I can’t imagine that not being irritating. Maybe she’s just stacked up a lot of bad vocal habits and can’t break them now, old habits die hard ; u ;.
        Ohhh high larynxes make so much more sense now, thank you ^^. I’ll try picking up on the lightness/thinness as well as the whiny quality from now on. I’m still not 100% sure what support even is (breathing correctly??) but I know it’s vital to good singing now lol ><.


      2. Not at all, it’s like a hair difference. Breath support is breathing correctly but also relying on a diaphragmatic effort as opposed to a throat effort, which is a hard habit to break and something very abstract to learn.


  5. I know you won’t analyze her but I have to ask, is Gyuri better than Nicole? Whether she is or not I know it’ll be a small difference but I can’t help but be curious.


    1. Nope, we don’t analyze voices. We analyze vocal technique of main and lead vocalists of idol groups or soloists. Yoona is a sub-vocalist with very weak vocal skill, she won’t be analyzed.


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