SS501’s Vocal Analysis: Youngsaeng


Vocal Range

G2 ~ G5 (3 octaves)

Supported Range

E3/F3 ~ D4/Eb4

Voice Type

Light Lyric Tenor


  • Strongest vocalist in SS301
  • Sings in pitch for the most part of his range
  • Falsetto transitions are often done with enough precision
  • Lower range retains some support and tone down to F3
  • Chest voice is relaxed to an extent up to D4/Eb4
  • Mixed voice is bright so he’s able to handle higher passages for a longer period of time
  • Even below E3, tone is mostly present in his lower range despite lack of support
  • Occasional support may be present in his mixed


  • Sings with a raised larynx for most of his range
  • Lower range is airy and underdeveloped
  • Mixed voice tends to be produced with pure throat tension
  • Larynx raises early on in his range
  • Sings with a whiny placement often
  • Throat is closed throughout most of his range
  • His falsetto is underdeveloped and pushed
  • Very pushed and tense vibrato produced
  • Tends to let go of air support too soon, causing pitch to go flat


  • Lower register: The lower portion of his chest voice is generally produced with tone even below where support is present in his voice. Due to the lack of strength in his diaphragmatic support, notes below E3 become less full and present even if tone may be present.
  • Mixed register: The mixed voice is mostly on the head-dominant side. He tends to push the sound of his throat even as low as E4 and his larynx remains raised throughout his whole mixed voice.
  • Upper register: Possibly the least explored part of his voice. Airiness overrules the tone in his voice and thus the control of his pitch and the volume of his voice change greatly in his falsetto, since he’s unable to produce a head voice.


Youngsaeng’s style of singing is a lot more influenced by older Korean singers and pop-ballad singers. As such, he shows little to no true R&B/Soul influence in the way he sings most of his original and cover performances. Thus it is possible to hear a certain lack of development of certain aspects of singing mostly linked with even a tint of R&B-flavor in them, such as vocal runs. When it comes to songs that require him to sing even short and simple vocal runs, which are usually part of the main melody of the song, he has issues with obtaining the flow of the run in the song. It is possible to hear a lack of effort in developing the proper muscle memory to create both the rhythmic flow from one note to another, as well as the pitch accuracy to sing through quicker melismatic passages with flexibility. This results in generally sloppy and pitchy runs that end up sounding more like slides, as opposed to real vocal runs such as in “When I Was Your Man“, “Lost Stars” and “사랑인거죠“.

Overall analysis

Debuting in 2005 as the main vocalist of SS501, Youngsaeng is currently amongst the longest running idol groups active in the industry. Since his debut he was always praised for his singing ability and how he was able to sing in a very high range for a male. With a very bright, light and youthful voice, his voice mostly falls within the natural tenor fach. Much like many other main vocalist tenors in K-pop, Youngsaeng has the tendency to take on the most challenging and highest notes in his group’s repertoire for that reason.

The lower part of his range is actually noticeably more present than many other tenors despite the lack of support in his voice. Generally Youngsaeng’s chest voice keeps a certain degree of breath support present down to E3/F3, where he’s able to project his voice with a relaxed tone and a somewhat shallow support, as heard in “Find” and “Snow Prince“. Below E3 his voice quickly becomes quieter and airier in tone, with inconsistencies in tone production but he is still able to produce tone even as low as B2 without too much issue. There’s a tendency for him to push his larynx down the lower he gets in order to create more tone but it’s not to a degree of creating a completely artificial tone in his voice. This can heard in the Eb3’s in “마법의 성“, B2’s in “내머리가 나빠서“, A2’s in “Rainy Heart” and G2’s in “Snow Prince“.

His mixed voice is most likely his most used and most acclaimed register. Most of SS501 songs tend to highlight this part of his range, where he mostly sings in a range from C4 ~ C5. As far as support goes, Youngsaeng shows only some support within his chest voice and as soon as he approaches his first passaggio into his mixed voice around Eb4/E4, he starts to sing with a high larynx. This causes his voice to sound much higher and lighter than his natural speaking voice and the lower portion of his range, creating a lack of balance of tone throughout his range. Below Eb4 however moments of shallow support can be heard with some frequency such as the D4’s in “Maria“. Above Eb4, he is able to sing with a relaxed tone if he doesn’t push volume out of his voice, such as the F4 in “아버지“.

However as soon as he adds just a bit more volume to his voice, he tends to push his sound out with a throaty approach causing him to sound more glottal and tense. The sound then becomes whiny, pushed and the higher he goes, the more yell-like the quality of his voice becomes. This can be heard in the E4’s in “Crying“, F4’s in “Find“, F#4’s in “축복“, “Rainy Heart” and “뭐야 이건“, G4’s in “넌 나의 천국“, G#4’s in “U R Man“, A4’s in “Let It Go“, Bb4’s in “All My Love” and “PAIN“, B4’s in “Snow Prince“, and C#5’s in “Find“. This tendency to push his sound out so early in his range causes him to be unable to sing a truly supported and relaxed tone anywhere in his mixed voice, creating a lot of tension and causing a lot of damage to his vocal cords. Despite the strain in his voice, the fact that his mixed voice lies on a more head-dominant approach allows him to sing through strain with less fatigue than someone who uses a more pushed chest-dominant approach.

His falsetto may possibly the least developed part of his range. When singing in his upper register, Youngsaeng’s voice often becomes light and airy as he’s unable to fully connect his vocal cords in order to produce what one could call a head voice. The result is then a more soft sound and a falsetto register, which shows a contrast in volume and tone from his mixed voice as soon as he transitions. Pitch wise, he’s able to transition into his falsetto without too much trouble as heard in “Maria“. On the other hand, if he’s to sing for a longer period of time in his falsetto, he tends to start losing the control of his pitch and to sound quite tight, as heard in the E5’s in “Lost Stars” and in “Rainy Heart“. When singing with more volume to create more power in his falsetto, he tends to harshly constrict his throat and vocal cords together to yell out higher falsetto notes to overcompensate for the lack of proper breath support used, such as the F#5’s in “널 붙잡을 노래 (Love Song)” and “When I Was Your Man“, and the G5 in “She’s Gone“.

Musically Youngsaeng has enough control of his voice to attempt certain musical ideas an experienced vocalist would be able to perform with better technique. He has the sensibility to be able to create dynamics throughout songs, but he tends to favor airiness in tone and pushing volume out with tension instead of truly working with diaphragmatic support throughout his range. The fact that his voice sounds like 3 different voices as he travels through his range creates a discrepancy in tone throughout. He also tends to sing with a closed diction, tight jaw and closed throat. His placement is a lot more nasal than necessary and thus he’s unable to produce healthy resonance at all in his voice, as well as being unable to produce a healthy vibrato. Instead he tends to force out an artificial laryngeal vibrato. The lack of support also causes him to occasionally have issues with falling flat in pitch during his vocal performances.

For the overall sense of development of his voice, one can say that Youngsaeng has yet to truly develop the full potential of his voice. Although he’s been blessed with a naturally extensive range, his lack of development in breath support cause him sing with mostly damaging technique throughout his range and for him to be unable to fully unlock a lot more sounds and possibilities for him as a vocalist. Despite his weaknesses, the way he sings fits quite well with the repertoire he’s used to singing and he’s able to perform well within that repertoire for his target audience. If he’s to be taken seriously as a professional vocalist and to be further his career as a soloist, taking lessons from a vocal instructor who can unlock his true sound and allow him to use a fuller tone, as well as a more relaxed and support approach throughout his range would be quite beneficial for him. For the future, learning true diaphragmatic breathing and support would be the first step for him.


As a vocalist with a lack of true development of proper technique throughout his range, stylistically Youngsaeng is mostly known for his naturally high range. This high range is what allows him to usually impress people with his singing and as such, it’s what he usually goes for in order to create a reaction from the audience. Despite the lack of support in his voice, he has enough vocal creativity to know when to add a higher note in a cover or live performance of a song, giving the song his own touch even if by simply changing one note such as the added falsetto F#5’s in “When I Was Your Man” and “널 붙잡을 노래 (Love Song)“. Although potential is heard in his musical ear, the lack of technique and tension in his voice cause him to not end perfoming as well as what the musical idea was originally planned for.


Weak Vocalist

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu!

52 thoughts on “SS501’s Vocal Analysis: Youngsaeng

  1. for the first bullet point of the strengths part, shouldnt it be SS501? or is the title of the analysis wrong? i dont know this group so im not sure haha


    1. Nope, I meant SS301 for that part because of the unit group SS501 has right now. For the overall SS501 group, I’m not sure I’d call him their strongest vocalist.


  2. “Since his debut he was always praised for his singing ability and how he was able to in a very high range for a male. ” I think something’s missing in this sentence.
    I first listened to him when they came back this year and I always think that his voice becomes thin and whiny the higher he goes. Guess I wasn’t wrong lol It’s sad to see that he’s weak even if he debuted long time ago.


  3. Hello there ! Do you think you could make a vocal analysis on Music Commander, the actual King on King of Mask Singer ?
    Here are his perf:

    Most people think it’s Ha Hyun Woo from Guckkasten


    1. I feel REALLY dumb to ask you this cause I feel like I’m the only one in here who doesn’t know how to do it, but… how do you count octaves? I didn’t necessarily wanna go out of the way to learn how to count them cause I thought you could just copy the range and google will do the rest for you… Yeah, right. I used to know how to count octaves a long time ago when I took music classes, but that was when I lived in Germany where the notes have slightly different names. Or do you know a good website?
      Besides Youngsaeng, the only two singers I am sure about with their supported ranges are the ones that seem to be on both ends of the spectrum: Lena Park with 3 octaves (so almost her entire range) and Henry with zero (oh well, he’s a good violinist and pianist)…


      1. A C marks every octave, it starts on a C and ends on a B. C3-C6 would be 3 octaves because it would be c3-c4 c4-c5 c5-c6. Thus if Youngsaeng starts a on G2 and ends on a G5 it would be 3 octaves becuase G2 G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G3 G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G4 G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G5.

        This is on the about and critera page ill just copy and paste “A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names”


  4. I actually thought he was at least average. Damn, was is it with DSP that it never really cared for properly training its vocalists? This makes Ok Juhyun a real gem.


  5. That rating came as a surprise, but the things you said make a lot of sense. I wish DSP would do a better job of providing for its vocalists, and I hope that Youngsaeng can find a trainer to help him develop a healthier technique.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s quite surprising to see his rank.
    However, as their fans, I’ve noticed that they seem to rely on their vocal color to show who they are?
    I mean, after their hiatus from the group and then the solo projects, I realize my bias, Kyu Jong, is actually very weak. He doesn’t seem to develop something even after going solo. I do think they’re already in their comfort zone?

    Also, could you do PJM’s analysis?🙂

    It’s kinda unrelated and probably annoy you, but my bias(s) are Hyosung and Kyu Jong, which one is weaker do you think?


    1. Hyosung as in Secret? I really don’t know, I don’t know Kyujong well enough and they’re a male and a female, I can’t be sure. Park Jungmin.. I want to but not for as long as he’s inactive, only when he comes back will I analyze him.


      1. Yeah. That Hyosung.
        Ah… I forgot that male and female fall on different categories. Though if we were going to generalize them, I’m curious which one is worse.

        Jungmin is still out for months, no? Ah😦 I’ll have to wait longer for his then.


  7. Did you study singing or music? just asking i like your analysis =)

    I want to study music to.. singing more specific, (i’m 28) i always like singing since i was little but i haven’t the opportunity to study… you said park jungmin is the strongest vocalist in ss501, i think him and kim hyung jun (the maknae and the one i can’t not know how to pronounce his name because is the same name as the leader) are the strongest, you like baritones? i love them. their darker timbre (is that correct?) it’s amazing, Have you listen in a rush cover? what do you think about Kim Hyun Joong voice? i think he needs singing lessons, i like his songs because is the kind of pop that i like but im always thinking that he could do better. because it’s like he is singing and talking at the same time… there are parts of his voice that i feel that he really needs a proper training on singing.

    Honestly kyu jong was told once that he really shoud quit singing. when he was in his trainee years. i think they don’t properly teach them how to sing. or they don’t worry…. can you tell me your opinion of the performace?


    1. Yes, we are vocalists and vocal instructors. I hope you can find the time or the chance to study. Actually it seems like Kim Hyungjoon may be a baritone as well as Park Jungmin. I am not sure if Park Jungmin is the strongest vocalist in SS501, I said he may be but I don’t know him well enough to be sure. He sounds like he has a better grasp of support than Youngsaeng though. The thing is all of them have a very weak sense of breath support and none of them seem to have been taught how to breathe properly but Park Jungmin’s tone is much better produced and more safe, more stable, more well grounded as a whole. He might be a weak to average vocalist or an average vocalist or so. They all sound very nasal in this, but the overall cover isn’t bad. Their harmonies aren’t bad, except for Hyungjoon’s adlibs at the end are pretty pitchy.


  8. I was wondering how Adam Lambert would compare to Kpop vocalists! I know you don’t do Western artists but I was wondering how he would fit in on the scale of Kpop artists!


    1. Let me answer this. I might be wrong, though.

      Voice: Light lyric tenor
      Vocal range: A2-Bb5 [3 octaves, 1 semitone]
      Low range is not bad. D3/Eb3 maybe? Below, either quiet or airy. He can mixed until G#5 but the support ends at Bb4/B4, maybe? [He had a multiple B4 in “Whatya Want From Me” and I think those are okay. However, I have only heard it on his studio version. I’m not sure about his consistency]. Higher are shouted with good placement, high larynx and closed throaty. I’m not sure if the A5/Bb5 is sung; it sounds like an exclamation to me. His falsetto is okay but can be too airy at times, possibly stylistic choice. Relaxed until F5, I think. He has a resonant HV @D5 but the consistency is unknown. Shrill G5 and G#5. A5 is an exclamation.

      Supported range: D3/Eb3 – Bb4/B4 – D5
      Rating: Good


      1. I’d rather you not answer based on 1. A vocal range video 2. No prior research 3. No real live content. Tbh I’m not feeling his Bb4’s or B4’s and I don’t know if this is fair, again refrain from talking about non kpop here. Let’s not make this messy.


    1. Please keep questions within analyses relevant to the vocalist analyzed so a question like this should go in the future projects. 0:22 The phrased B3 wasn’t bad even though it was quick. 0:29 that throaty falsetto worked in terms of style but vocally I feel it was throaty cause she sounded tired. YooAh sounds okay but she still has pretty shallow support and she tends to become slightly flat here and there. This song is not really challenging in the lower range. 1:17 that C5 sounded tired. 1:24 good placement on that C5 and good support but she sounds fatigued so a bit throaty. 1:40 YooA’s falsetto was not throaty but she still sounds somewhat shallow overall. She reminds me of someone. 2:34 again she has a good approach to her C5’s, I don’t hear Seunghee singing C5’s usually. It’s either B4 or C#5 usually haha This performance is in a generally comfortable range. 3:14 mixed E5 this time but still high larynx.


      1. I’m sorry about that, I wans’t sure where to ask ….and thak you, i already expected that you’ll say a little flat for yooa, would you say she is more than weak ?? i know it hard since there’s barely any material but from what you’ve heard would you say it’s enough to make an attempt to rank her?? … and for seunghee i’m not sure but is there any chance she is a full soprano ???? or is it just that her voice tone is mature


      2. No, I wouldn’t call YooA more than weak. She seems like a weak vocalist, that’s about it. I don’t believe Seunghee has a mature tone, I’d first call Yuju of GFriend a Full Lyric before I even think of calling Seunghee that. I believe they’re both light lyrics.


  9. May I ask a question? I don’t know where I should post this so I’ll just post it here.
    Have you guys listened this song? (
    I wonder which high note is technically more difficult, this or Wendy’s in Red Velvet’s debut song Happiness? and which of them is higher?
    BTW I really like your analyses it really helps me understand lots of things~~ Thank you!!!


    1. Yes I have and the highest note is a mixed voice G#5, which is much higher than Wendy’s F5s in Happiness so therefore harder to hit and harder to sing well.


      1. I’ve already commented on this video actually. Wendy sounds lower because she’s got the most balanced mix and the most support, so her tone is fuller than the rest.


  10. Hi, I just recently discovered this song by Berry Good. I’m not familiar enough with the group to give you names, but there are two (or possibly three) girls that are obviously a level above from the rest of the girls, who are all weak singers. Could you take a few minutes to tell me what you think of their main vocal and lead vocal and any other girls you think worth mentioning?


    1. There’s the girl singing all the high larynx E5s and the G5s, this song is both too vocally unchallenging and too high to make any kind of conclusions about any of these girls, unfortunately.


      1. I see, unfortunately there’s not much material out there for Berry Good, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see. But one more question, other then Wendy, who are best vocalists in the popular rookie girl groups? Thanks in advance🙂


    1. This isn’t exactly the right place to ask, post questions about vocalists who haven’t been analyzed in the Future Analyses list. The notes from 44 ~ 48 are D5 ~ E5 ~ F5. Wendy can’t support above D5, so it’s understandable she was straining the E5 and the F5, she had too much throat tension and pushed the volume out, that’s pretty common for most. The performance was great, I already watched it wait.

      Here’s the link I watched

      “3:01 is when she went really above D5, where she was straining her voice the most with the E5 and F5 she sustained. Aside from that, great harmonies overall, really nice head voice transitions, even her phrased D5’s seemed a bit tight but supported to me throughout, like at 1:01 and 1:18. 1:31 love her head voice, it’s so clean and well placed, nice G5 and Ab5. She seems to be doing better around D5.”


      1. I’m sorry I didn’t know where to post this, I’ll put questions like this to where you asked the next time!
        So she has shown some improvements right? and thanks again for answering me!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. He is singing with a high larynx for a good portion of Perfect Man. Within the range of E3 ~ Eb4, he sounds about the same as usual. There’s nothing new in either of these clips.


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