Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Taeyeon [Newly Updated]

Taeyeon1

Vocal Range

D3 ~ C6 (2 octaves and 5 notes)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ C#5/D5 (without head voice)

G3/G#3 – C#5/D5 ~ F5/F#5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Light Lyric Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Consistent forward placement in the A4~D5 range
  • Consistent resonance in the A4~C5/C#5 range
  • Consistently supported up to C#5/D5
  • Occasional resonance up to D5
  • Forward masked placed sound in the chest voice
  • Supports and projects down to G3/G#3
  • Has done supported Eb5s
  • At times head voice can be produced up to F#5/G5
  • Head voice Bb5
  • Capable of doing runs with good flow and pitch accuracy
  • Healthy vibrato is produced with good support
  • Stable pitch majority of the time

Weaknesses

  • Inconsistent head voice
  • Pitch can be inconsistent
  • Faster runs can be sloppy and inaccurate
  • Support above C#5/D5 is inconsistent
  • Lower register below G3 becomes really airy
  • Inconsistent with vowels

Registers

  • Lower register: Since her debut, Taeyeon’s lower register has improved significantly expanding from Bb3/B3 to G3/G#3 since 2007. Her lower register has far more connection and projection than it did before.  Taeyeon carries decent support down to G3/G#3, however her voice has the most projection in the G#3/A3 range. Below G3 Taeyeon’s voice becomes very airy and unsupported, but she maintains a neutral larynx.
  • Mixed register: Taeyeon has consistent support up to C#5/D5 and consistent resonance up to C5/C#5. She generally produces very open and resonant notes in the A4~C5/C#5 range and occasionally up to D5. Above D5 Taeyeon’s voice becomes tight and strained.
  • Upper register:  Although Taeyeon actively switches back and forth between falsetto and head voice it is safe to assume she uses head voice. Taeyeon, when not using falsetto, can carry a supported head voice up to F5/F#5 though not resonant. Above F#5 her head voice and falsetto become very tense and shrill.

Agility

As a vocalist that trained under The One, who incorporates many runs into his performances, Taeyeon herself has developed a fair share of agility. Though overlooked in previous years, in 2015 Taeyeon made point to demonstrate her skill when it comes to agility. The most noticeable piece is “Check” from Girls’ Generation’s Party single which is filled with numeous runs from Taeyeon, similarly “Bump It” from the Lion Heart album also features many runs from TaeYeon as do many of the songs from that album. However in 2012 Taeyeon showed she was definitely capable of doing complicated runs live with her various performances of “Lady Marmalade” with Tiffany.  Taeyeon has shown she is best suited for slow to mid-tempo runs with faster runs she tends to lose control and rhythmic flow and her pitch tends to go off.

Overall analysis

TaeYeon made her debut in 2007 as the main vocalist and leader of South Korea’s leading girl group Girls’ Generation. Since her debut Taeyeon has made a name for herself as one of South Korea’s top idol vocalist and one of their most respected singers because of her many OST with her 2008 OST “If” being her most popular and the one that put her in South Korea’s eyes as a vocalist. TaeYeon is often praised for her ability to convey emotions as a singer. Composer Yoo Youngseok expressed his feeling about TaeYeon’s voice saying “Taeyeon feels like a woman who has been divorced 7 times”, meaning she is able to sing about heart break and parting well. Label mate JongHyun of SHINee expresed his agreement with composer Yoo Youngseok’s comment about Taeyeon saying, “I also feel that [Taeyeon’s] voice sounds like a woman with lots of experience of love and parting.” He reveals that he has felt this way about her ever since they were both trainees and Taeyeon “was born with the talent of expressing her sensitivity” showing he acknowledges his label mate’s skill.

During her debut years, Taeyeon used much more chest resonance in her singing, causing her to have a much richer and fuller tone production. However it seems after 2009 she switched to a lighter and brighter tone quality with some slight airiness as well. This is best exemplified in her radio performances prior to 2009, for example her performance of “Reflection” with Tiffany. In this performance TaeYeon is using a significant amount of chest resonance resulting in a richer and more womanly sounding tone. This is even evident when comparing mixed voice notes from then with more recent ones. For example the C5 in “Dear Mom”: the 2009 C5 has more chest resonance and slightly fuller tone quality, whereas the 2011 C5 has more of brighter tone production, but better resonance. Her switch to a lighter tone production definitely is not negative nor positive as it didn’t positively or negatively affect her voice. Also it seems as of 2015 she has found more of middle ground between the two.

Taeyeon’s mixed register is much more on the lighter and brighter side of the spectrum than it is on the dark and heavy side, especially after 2009. At the beginning of her career Taeyeon’s mix was quite developed up to C5/C#5 as it had a very strong, forward, and resonant sound within this range. She demonstrated this many times during her debut days for example the C#5s in “Baby Baby” were almost always resonant and supported especially the C#5 from this “Baby Baby” performance. She also had many good notes in the Bb4 to C5 range for example the Bb4s and C5 in “Want and Resent” with Jessica. During this time TaeYeon also supported a D5 during her radio performance of “Counting Kisses with You” also with Jessica, although this D5 in particular was not resonant it had very nice support and power. Even though that D5 was supported, Taeyeon rarely supported D5 at that time, as many of her D5s in “Into the New World” were tight. Taeyeon’s mixed voice above C#5 was very underdeveloped which was why during that time period she did not have many high notes above Eb5.

Fast forward to Taeyeon in 2009 and 2010 not much happened in these years for Taeyeon aside for her having her first studio F5 in “Wake Up” from the Hoot mini album in 2010.  In 2012 SM Entertainment debuted the Girls’ Generation sub-unit TTS featuring members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The unit’s primary purpose was to showcase the vocal talents of those three members. “Twinkle“, the leading track, required Taeyeon to sing F#5s in every performance. Prior to 2012 Taeyeon had no studio recorded or live F#5s. These F#5s proved to be quite a challenge for Taeyeon because almost all of them were strained and off the center of pitch as shown in this video here, and all of those F#5 were inadequately mixed with an excessive amount of pushing. Not only was she required to sing the F#5s in “Twinkle”, but also “Baby Steps” which was also part of the Twinkle mini album. Those F#5s were of the same quality as the “Twinkle” F#5s. After straining her way through those performances for so long, Taeyeon began to have difficulty singing above C#5. In 2013 Girl’s Generation kicked off the year with pre-promotional track “Dancing Queen” before releasing lead track “I Got A Boy.” ‘Dancing Queen” and “I Got A Boy” were both less taxing vocally than “Twinkle” and “Baby Steps”, however Taeyeon still couldn’t handle the D5s she was required due to her regression above C#5. The “Dancing Queen” D5s were all quite strained and pushed, however 2013 was still fairly good year for her.  In 2013 Taeyeon produced some of her best C5s/C#5s and even had some success above above C#5. TaeYeon’s C5s in “Lost in Love” with Tiffany are some of the best of her career. Also TaeYeon’s Eb5s from the “Express 999” live performances had support although some tension was also present, such as the Gayo Daejun performance.

In 2015 Taeyeon made significant improvement in her mixed register by expanding her support range from C5/C#5 to C#5/D5. The D5 expansion was first noticed in the Lion Heart album released in August of 2015 in songs like “Green Light” and “Bump It.” The sustained D5 in “Green Light” had strong support and an open sound very different from her D5s in previous years and the phrased D5s in “Bump It” had good support. Taeyeon solidified her supported range with her performances of her song”I” from her solo EP I.  Many of the D5s from these performances were supported as shown by this video here. The D5/C#5s from that line were almost always supported ,especially the C#5, but sadly the sustained E5 afterwards never was. Of course, her D5s do not go without their inconsistencies as there are times that they end up becoming tight, like in one of her live performances of “U R.”

Similarly to what happened in her mixed register, Taeyeon’s lower register has improved significantly over the years, expanding from A3/Bb3 to G3/G#3. Taeyeon for a long time had issues singing below A3 as her lower register was quite underdeveloped. This was especially evident below G3/G#3. Below that her voice would become very airy, quiet, and lack projection, for example her performance of her OST “Missing You Like Crazy” in which she sings many F3s which were consistently airy and not completely pitch centered. G3’s also posed a problem for her, for example the G3 in “Promise“, though there was significantly more connection on the G3 than the F3 that followed, it still sounded uncomfortable for her to hit.

Taeyeon’s head register often flips between falsetto and head voice from what seems to be for stylistic purposes.  Her head voice has a fairly decent connection and support up to F5/F#5,but above that, in both falsetto and head voice, she becomes fairly tense and shrill. Taeyeon does not have a great deal of ease when  it comes to accessing the higher notes of her range mainly the G#5 ~ C6 range. For example her head voice Bb5 at the end of “Gemini” is very tight and strained. Also her head voice lacks true head resonance and is just a supported sound, for example her F#5 in “Shake that Brass” and F5s in “Star.”  Taeyeon has also shown she is able to support G#5 in head voice when she performed “Because You Loved Me” with Seohyun.

Musicianship

Taeyeon is not one for dramatics when it comes to her singing. She’s definitely a fan of keeping a performance sensible and well within her means vocally. She’s a vocalist that likes to carry a performance by conveying emotions through phrasing.  Taeyeon definitely is not a high flying belter, as she stays in more a medium high to low vocal range maxing normally out at F3/F#3 and Eb5/E5, which is fairly consistent with her OST’s and vocal range in Girls’ Generation albums. Although of course there are exceptions to this, as she is occasionally challenged outside that range. Taeyeon’s performance of “Moonlight” is a great representation of her stylistically choices, as range wise she stays somewhere within the G3/G#3 ~ D5 range which is very reasonable for her vocal skill. This performance showed off her resonance in the A4 ~ C#5 very well as it was concentrated within in that area. TaeYeon’s solo album is a good reflection of her as a vocalist as the songs are very different than what is on the Girls’ Generation albums. Her style seems to be more mid to slow tempo songs in a lower range. A good example of this would be “U R” with a range of E3 ~ F5 centering more around the A4 ~ D5 area, which definitely was intentional as that is where she does well.

Rating

Proficient Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Pandayeu
(Originally analyzed by zhx)

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749 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Taeyeon [Newly Updated]

    1. Everybody can be stylistic, the point is to be able to choose when to use style or not. Some singers can ONLY sing in one style and others can change their voices because they have more control.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Were her lows from 0:00 – 0:20 supported?

        What’s the note of the millenial whoop (oh-oh) in chorus at 0:57 – 0:58?

        How good was her run at 2:12 – 2:15?

        What’s that note at 2:56, and was it relaxed/supported/resonant?

        Like

      2. She only went down to A3, so yes, except for one quick G3 that was kind of half spoken. The Oh-oh’s were D5 and B4. 2:12 the run was nice, the last portion was just a bit laggy. 2:48 could’ve been slightly cleaner but otherwise fine. 2:56 resonant D5.

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  1. Hi there! i recently found a live performance of I Like The Way by TTS -it’s an old one but it was the first time i heard of it- and i was wondering (mainly about Taeyeon) what notes did she hit in 2:52-2:55 and 3:14-3:17 and if any of those where supported.

    Also, in her new teaser for FINE she hit a B5 (in head voice??), was this note in her vocal range already or should it be added?

    Like

    1. Why does it say 170117? Because someone already asked about this performance but the date was correct to the ACTUAL date of the performance:

      2:52 Eb5’s, but then B4’s which were nicely placed. The Eb5’s were kind of closed. Then 3:14 Eb5’s and an F5, not supported. Well…you can see her vocal range is D3 ~ C6…and she hit B5, which is lower than C6…so…it won’t be added to her range cause it’s nothing new. It was a pushed head voice, it lacked development and support.

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  2. can I comment on Fine? seems no one yet asking for that… hahaha…
    whats her note at the end of the chorus “its not fine aaaaaiaaa” and how well she does it? is her rating “proficient” not improving?

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      1. Please do not assume I know every song by heart, especially not with an album that just came out. The user provided a link to a vocal range video, so please use that video and then give me time stamps in that video to the parts you’re asking about. I don’t like to look for notes without knowing 100% for sure what I’m looking for and having to guess what you mean and then perhaps being wrong. 6:50 there’s support on the “higher” but there’s also pushing and a bit too much air pressure. The E5 is the “I FEEL so fine” which is on a tight closed vowel.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello! May i know how her G3’s at 0:26 and 0:35 were, and the D5’s at 2:38, 2:50 and 3:03?
    I know you admins prefer it if we try to give our own input as well so I think i hear: The G3s sound okay, neutral larynx i believe but im not sure if they are supported. D5 at 2:38 seems a bit tight, 2:50, a wee bit tight as well but supported. D5 at 3:03 seems like the best for me, i think maybe it is resonant.

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    1. I would say I agree with you. I’d actually say the G3’s have a slightly lowered larynx but they’re pretty nice, it’s just a bit of a push that she could relax more upon. The D5’s seem slightly pushed with good placement, the 3:03 did seem like the best one out of the three! She’s using a bit too much throat to push, just a tad bit too much that she could relax on. The placement is really good, she just needs to pull back on the pushing a tad. 3:30 Oh she actually went for the B5.

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      1. No, it does not mean that at all. It means that she was brave enough to hit the note and I didn’t think she was going to. It was pushed and tight.

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  4. I know it’s way back 2013 but can I ask if how was Taeyeon in 2:35? I know it’s strained but it just sounds so good there might be something positive to say about it technically? Thank you!

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    1. If it’s strained, there’s very little chance to say anything positive about it. What I can say that’s positive is that her F5’s have improved a lot.

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    1. 2:48 sounded slightly closed, but mostly due to fatigue actually it didn’t sound strained. The note just didn’t come out properly. 3:01 sounded supported, but again could’ve been better.

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    1. Well better consistency around D5/Eb5 would be nice, more consistent head voice, more consistency in the lower register etc. Etc. Really this is a very broad question and really can’t be explained in a quick short answer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey all, how did she do in this performance? She sounded like she was straining, pushing and out of breath the whole time, and I think she went off pitch at 2:43. At 2:49 she sounded like she was shouting. What do you think of that harmonized B5 (is it a B5?) at 3:09?

    Thanks in advance ❤

    Like

    1. I must say I completely disagree. Aside from the phrases D5’s at 0:55 1:06 2:01 2:12 that were slightly closed, she wasn’t straining almost at all. I don’t know where you heard her being out of breath, and I didn’t hear her going off at 2:43 but I heard it at 2:46. Also for the 2:49 and 3:03 D5’s I hear pushing and a slight shouty quality but there was support in it, it just wasn’t fully relaxed. I would never label that as straight up shouting though. I don’t really hear a harmony at 3:09 but the head voice B5 is strained, the only note in the performance where I’d say she completely just strained.

      Like

  6. This is Taeyeon Fine Performance March 17 :

    and The last performance / goodbye stage March 18 :

    i will compare 5 D5s between 2 performances, on March 17 1:11, 2:18, 2:36, 2:48, 3:02
    on March 18 0:59, 2:05, 2:23, 2:35, 2:49.

    i think D5s on march 18 is lighter, relax and got more support than march 18 right? is it because she was placing her voice on the mask, soft palate or something? it’s so different with march 17 her D5s more chesty.

    Like

    1. i had similar thoughts when i watched this. It seemed to me like she wasn’t trying as hard (not in a sense that she wasn’t trying to do well but more of like she wasn’t forcing it) and so she ended up being more relaxed and with not as much pushing and tension? i dunno if that makes sense lol sorry if it’s totally off base

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    2. She sounds lighter because her mixing isn’t as chesty that’s correct but I’d say that’s due to fatigue as opposed to anything else.

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      1. Ohh, okay thanks..
        Is it more pushed because the vowel?

        And, does that note still had good placement and resonance even when it’s more pushed?

        Like

      2. Hi again, Mr. Ahmin.
        May I ask again bout her sketchbook perf?

        How about her 2:25&2:36 (muneul yeolgo), 2:28&2:39 (chajawa) , 2:42 (mieojyeo)?
        Its all head voice, right?
        Thanks..

        Like

      3. This is a really pretty song. I’ve heard it sung by Sunggyu before, I believe. It sounds more like falsetto to me, all the time stamps you gave.

        Like

  7. Hi Mr. Matthew 😀

    Is it, her perf in sketchbook, was the best live perform of her with fine?

    and how about her b5 in 3.14?

    Thank you so muchh

    Like

    1. The B5 was pushed with a lot of air. As for it being her best vocal performance, I can’t agree nor disagree cause I haven’t seen them all. Did you call me Matthew? LOL

      Like

      1. Okay, I thought you have seen all of her stage of fine..

        Did I mistaken it again? 😂😂
        If yes, I’ll just call you Mr. Ahmin or Mr. Matheus next time and sorry for it, hehehe

        Like

  8. Is the way she’s flipping between chest and head voice (It may be falsetto, I’m not sure) here considered difficult? I don’t see a lot of songs that require you to change voices so frequently.

    It starts at 2:24 and ends 2:44

    Like

    1. Please do not post MR Removed videos. Mhmm actually someone asked about that part and it’s more falsetto-y than head voice. It can be somewhat difficult, she lacks the smoothness with transitions since flipping back and forth requires control and connection.

      Like

  9. So more often than not Taeyeon is overworked and fatigued, but do you guys feel that given good conditions (well rested, in good vocal condition, etc), she has consistency with resonance on D5s? Or is she still a bit short of that? 🙂

    Like

  10. What makes jimin better than taeyeon ? Also Wendy Have better support in falsetto and low notes is it her mix that makes her ranked lower?
    Oh and what is the best D5 taeyeon had ever sang ?

    Like

    1. Hi! Please allow me to answer one of your question.

      Taeyeon is a bit better than Wendy because of resonance in her mix, which she produces it consistently from A4- C5/C#5. While Wendy does resonance occasionally from C5 below.

      Like

    2. Yes, it’s been addressed quite a few times by Pandayeu that due to Wendy’s lack of openness and resonance, she would be theoretically below Taeyeon by a little bit. As for Jimin, she has almost the same supported range as Wendy with her lower range and head voice*, except for D5’s, but has much more amplified and opened resonance, even more so than Taeyeon which is why Pandayeu felt she should be put higher. Also I don’t know, I haven’t heard every D5 Taeyeon has ever sung.

      Like

  11. Hi! I would like to ask how was Taeyeon’s Eb5 in this perfomance. I know that she cannot open the throat properly because of the vowel, but she sounded somewhat more relaxed than in other Party performances. What you think?
    2:30

    Thanks! 🙂

    Like

    1. I can’t say I necessarily agree about it compared to other performances but it on itself by itself, I don’t hear an absence of support, but mostly I just hear tightness. So I wouldn’t call it a relaxed or supported note.

      Like

  12. Hi, may I ask about this cmiyc performance?

    It’s an old performance, but i’m really curious bout how taeyeon & tiffany pulled that notes.. And what notes those are?

    Tiffany 2:44 (that sustain meomcheul su eobseo), 3:00-3:03 ( that sustain my heart)..

    Taeyeon 2:51 – 2:56 & 3:07-3:10 (im going to find my heart)

    How about its all?
    Before, sorry for brings tiffany here, just curious bout her too.. Much thanks 😁😁

    Like

      1. Thanks for the answer 😀
        Was taeyeon supported b4 on 2:51, resonance?

        And was that slightly flat d5 on 3:07, have no support at all?

        Like

  13. Hi, I just wonder if Taeyeon was ever ranked higher than a 4 since I remember seeing a 5 or 5.5 last year. Correct me if memory doesn’t serve me. Thanks.

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    1. No that was never the case. See the numbers aren’t there for the rating but just so they’re organized in the tags but either way she was never rated this high nor higher. This is her highest rating yet.

      Like

    1. From Ahmin:
      ahmin3 December 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm
      The openness and resonance Taeyeon possesses.

      From Pandayeu:
      pandayeu November 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm
      Wendy’s head voice compared to TaeYeon’s and Jimin’s just isn’t as open it’s just support a bit higher. Also Taeyeon doesn’t have a “slightly underdeveloped” head voice, slightly under developed head voice would only being able to head voice B4/C5 lol. Out of all the girls in the Proficient area Wendy is the least open and has the least amount of resonance and to me that’s a big thing.

      Like

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