EXO’s Vocal Analysis: Chen [Rewritten]


Vocal Range

E2 – Bb5 (3 octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

A2/Bb2 – A4

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Best Technique in EXO overall
  • Able to support his lower register all the way down to C3 previously, and A2 as of late
  • Often sings with a lifted soft palate
  • Agility has seen slight improvement since debut
  • Placement is kept outside of supported range
  • Most supported lower register in male tenor idols(and possibly ballad singers) thus far
  • Best sense of pitch in EXO
  • Sings with the least tension in EXO

Weaknesses

  • Tends to sing with a larynx vibrato
  • Notes below A2 tend to be unsupported with a low larynx
  • Belts with a high larynx above A4
  • Sings with an overly airy falsetto
  • Sloppy runs

Registers

  • Lower: Arguably the most developed lower register amongst tenors in K-pop, idol or not. With a very forward full tone and developed cord connection, he’s able to sing with a lot of ease even in the second octave.
  • Middle: One of the better mixed voices amongst tenors, Chen is able to consistently produce resonance without issues and brings support even as high as A4. Despite that, strain is still obvious and present above A4, where he sings with a high larynx and a tight throat.
  • Upper: Generally airy and disconnected, good placement can be present in his falsetto. However Chen has yet to produce a connected sound in his upper register, not singing either with a head voice nor with proper support in this register.

Agility

While not his forte, Chen has seen an improvement in this area. During EXO’s debut era, Chen’s runs would often be sloppy and done without precision or accuracy, often sliding from note to note or simply becoming more tentative and unclear when approaching runs, such as in “Fool“, “The Last Time“, “Open Arms” and “빨래.” However he has learned to sing with more accuracy and precision as time went on. Despite not being as skilled in this area as Kyungsoo, he has shown to be able to handle runs with more ability than previously shown.

Overall analysis

The main vocalist of EXO M and one of the vocalists of EXO, Chen debuted at a skill level higher not only than all of his group members but also higher than most of his peers. While having a naturally high tenor voice and a lot of potential in range, Chen is one of these idols who has taken the time to show improvement and a good work ethic throughout his career as a member of EXO. Despite debuting with a high enough skill level, he never stopped improving and has made great progress in his singing technique, especially his lower range.

Despite being praised for his high belting, Chen’s strongest register is his lower register. When he first debuted, Chen had support down to C3 and was even able to project notes in the C3 – E3 range with absolutely no effort as seen by the C3 and D3 in “Just Once“, the D3 in “응급실“, the Eb3s in “What Is Love“, “The Last Time” and “빨래.” He always showed a very good understanding of how to properly connect his vocal cords without any use of tension in the third octave, while staying very audible and placing his voice well in his chest and mask. However, after EXO’s hiatus, Chen came back and showcased the ability to support lower as shown by his A2 in “Drunken Truth“, his Bb2’s in “Người Ấy“, his B2 from “Visiting Super Junior” and his C3 in “Love Again.” Below A2 though, Chen loses support and becomes airy though without sacrificing his larynx position as seen in his E2 and F2 in the “Low Note Battle“, his F2 in his duet with Suho, his F#2 in “Drunken Truth“, and his G2 and G#2s in “빨래.”

Chen’s second strongest, and most famous, register is his mix. Even as low as F4 Chen shows a nice forward placement and resonance which, unlike his fellow vocalists, is unhindered by jaw tension. He is able to bring his support and resonance up to A4 by consistently engaging the correct amount of breath support with the least amount of tension, allowing him to sing with freedom and an overall relaxed sound through his mix. This is shown by his F4’s in “The First Show”, “XOXO”, “Nothing Better“, and “Overdose.” His F4’s and F#4’s in “I Really Didn’t Know.” His F#4s in “MACHINE”, “With You“, “The Last Time“, and “Wolf.” His G4’s in “Baby Don’t Cry”, “Lucky”, and “빨래.” His G#4’s in “Miracles In December“, “History”, “Open Arms“, and “Don’t Go.” And his A4’s in “Lucky”, “I Really Didn’t Know“, “In Heaven“, “Best Luck“, “I Miss You“, “Baby Don’t Cry,” and the studio recording of “Although I Loved You“. Despite the support and resonance often present in sustained mixed notes, his laryngeal vibrato tends to make his belts sound rough and even closed at times due to the unnatural tension he uses to create that vibrato. Above A4, Chen begins to push his larynx up as shown in the Bb4 and B4’s from “I Really Didn’t Know” and “With You“, as well as the C5’s in “Mama”, “It’s Still a Dark Night” and “What Is Love.” The C#5 in “Wolf” and the D5’s in “Vesti La Giubba.” The Eb5’s in the “EXO High Note Battle“, the E5’s in” Wolf”, the F5 in “What Is Love“, and the G5 in “Drop That.”

Unfortunately, Chen’s straining is often showcased due to the fact that no other member in EXO M is able to sing the most difficult parts of their repertoire and he will be left having to split singing parts amongst him, Kyungsoo and Baekhyun. To compensate for this, Chen began to lessen the amount of chest in his mix above C5 to avoid dealing with as much strain as he previously dealt with as seen in the D5, E5, and F5 from “El Dorado.” Much like many other male idol groups and even solo singers in the Korean music industry, singing as high as a female is still a part of EXO’s music and in many cases, Chen is one of the only vocalists who can handle singing these demanding high passages. Although he’s minimized the strain in his voice above C5, there’s still a lot of tension in his voice whenever he sings above A4, mostly caused by the unnecessary demand for such high notes in K-pop tenor songs.

Chen’s weakest register is his falsetto which is often overly airy and pushed above D5. At times he’s able to place his sound more forward and produce a more head placed falsetto, such as in “The Last Time” but that usually comes with only the “ooh” vowel where he shows more throat and tongue tension. Although he’s able to stay more or less relaxed in his throat up to D5, he tends to have a more locked jaw when he sings in his falsetto which creates a lack of freedom in this register, as heard in “I Miss You” and “Nothing Better.” As he sings above D5, his voice becomes tighter and tighter, where he is unable to escape the tension present both in his upper mix and his falsetto. To overcompensate for the lack of freedom, Chen uses air pressure and a very forward mask placement to sing from Eb5 ~ Bb5 most of the time, as heard in the “EXO High Note Battle.

As an overall vocalist, Chen is one of the most promising young male idols of the debut era past 2010. Showing great discipline and growing quite considerably throughout his career as a main vocalist of EXO, he’s become one of the top male idol vocalists today and only shows promising potential for the future. To further develop his voice addressing tension in his tongue and jaw would help him free up the upper part of his mix and falsetto range, allowing for him to maintain a more relaxed approach and keeping a more neutral larynx as he sings higher.

Musicianship/Musicality

Chen is a vocalist who knows his strengths, often using his lower register rather than mixing above B4 when given the choice. He never truly approaches things in a very show offy way, often attempting to keep true to the original versions of his covers. This helps him always deliver songs lyrically and musically rather than trying to do things he’s unable to do. When singing solos he avoids messy performances and favors the dynamic delivery of a song over adding runs and high notes that he could most likely not sing properly.

Rating

Proficient to Good Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

video by: Edgar Cárdenas

Video by: 1zhxzhx

Best Vocal Performance(s)

video by:1zhxzhx (zhx)

Analyzed by Haruko & Ahmin

(originally analyzed by : zhx)

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About ahmin3

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

330 thoughts on “EXO’s Vocal Analysis: Chen [Rewritten]

    1. I translate the title in my head but I read it as It’s Unfortunate and I was like.. “I didn’t know there was a song with that title..” lol It’s not truly a challenging song for him, so there’s not too much room for improvement. His jaw position seems to be better though, which is a plus for sure.

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  1. Do you think that a male singer (or even a female singer) trying to sing outside of their supported range too much is going to end up like Christina Aguilera or Bom with damaged vocal cords even if they’re good. Like a tenor who can support up to C5 and a soprano who can support up to F5 but they continuously choose to strain above that range. Like naul sings in the fifth octave slot but he still has healthy vocal cards even at his age

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    1. I don’t think so because the way these vocalists strain is a lot less intense than for vocalists who can’t support. Even though there’s tension, these vocalists can support well so the amount of support they have plus the minimal tension would have to be done for a very long period of time for it to really affect them. Naul would have to sing a song in his mix that’s from C5 to C6 only everyday for him to really be damaged.

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      1. Thanks that makes sense, so it’s like they still have support it’s just the tension overtakes their support so its not as bad? Anyway my larynx raises very easily and I think you said somewhere untrained people have a naturally high larynx so you have to learn how to bring it down, so I tried singing high while pushing my larynx down at the same time but I stopped because idk if it’s healthy so basically is it?

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      2. It’s not unhealthy if it counters the habit of going up, so it keeps it neutral. Try to push your larynx down so that it stays neutral, but don’t push it down so that it’s low. The ideal way to sing would be singing with a relaxed throat by focusing on little to no movement in the larynx at all but that’s challenging. Try to watch yourself singing in the mirror. It’s easier for me cause I have a prominent larynx, but if you don’t it may not be as easy.

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      3. Thank you this is hard knowing where is just right but I think I’ll probably get it one day. Also I’m pretty sure I’m a baritone now since I start mixing at C4 and D4/Eb4 is where it starts to get to uncomfortable also I learned how to use my head voice lower so I switch at F4 now. Can I send you me singing in head voice because I think I can support Bb4 but I’m not sure

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  2. Could you tell me what was Chen’s rank before it was rewritten? And what year was it? I’m curious about his improvement.
    Sorry if it was somewhere in your article. English is not my native language and i could have missed something.

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  3. hello there, I’m wondering who’s better between jongdae and jonghyun? how is jongdae a competent to good while jonghyun is only competent? anyway, thankyou😁

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    1. You do realize your second questions answers your first question, right? If Chen is rated higher than Jonghyun then Chen is a better vocalist than Jonghyun. Have you read both analyses to understand why he is better though?

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    1. It was never said that he had support in his falsetto. Actually a falsetto can’t theoretically be supported at all since it isn’t a well connected register where the vocal cords are properly stretching. What is said that his falsetto above D5 is strained, so below that there’s less tension and it can be relaxed, but relaxed is not the same as supported.

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      1. in the second vocal range video someone in the comments said that around 5:13 the Bb4 seems supported (The song is Why so serious). It doesnt seems that bad but I dont think its supported right? Atleast not fully

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      2. It’s a lip synched Bb4 from a studio recording full of reverb, therefore I’m not going to trust that Bb4 as an example of him supporting above A4.

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  4. I was wondering about how to navigate the passaggio, since I always seemed to have a “crack” when I go from G4 to a4, and then having a very hard time from going from a4 to G4. However, I remember, Chen in Growl had the b4(or a note close to it) and there was this slight crack sort of when he descends from g to f#(again in not sure if it’s those notes, but it’s there) is that him transitioning back to his chest? Also, how do I avoid that crack between registers?

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      1. Chen was never 5, he never went from 5 to 4.5. Kyungsoo’s analysis is not mine, I don’t know when it will be done.

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    1. T-Ara’s Jiyeon, f(x)’s Amber, 4Minute’s Hyuna and Secret’s Hyosung have had solo releases and won’t be analyzed either. I shall add all 4 of their names to the list of vocalists we won’t analyze. (Amber is already on that list.)

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      1. Are you mean they won’t analysis permanently like forever. ..or they just not good enough to be analysis or they hadn’t show enough or maybe until the older analysis came out ..is this permanently..or until something change

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      2. I mean I can see why people would be curious about analyses for Amber and Hyosung, but Jiyeon is really not known for her vocals and Hyuna is a rapper. So is Amber really.

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      3. yes kimsoya, they wont be analyzed for a very long time. this blog already have much vocalist in the future list, also they have to keep up with old analysis in case there are improvement or worse. the only chance for them to be analyzed is showing huge improvement and become above average vocalist

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    1. Thank you! And I mean some nice head voice moments for Baekhyun, some not bad Bb4’s for Chen and Xiumin’s showing nothing new that I’ve not heard before.

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  5. You said that Chen can support Bb2 in Người ấy, how about Suho’s Bb2 in 1:04?
    I think Suhu pushed his larynx down a little bit (just a little bit)

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    1. You’re correct. He’s not stretching his vocal cords properly. He’s not supporting, he’s just pushing air and pushing his larynx down.

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      1. Unfortunately so although he was rated as above average when his first analysis came out but I’m not sure how much of that was true or a misrating.

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  6. sorry i’m not sure if my other comment was posted so i’m writing this again. based on their technique, who do you think is better, xiumin or luhan?

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    1. Actually I don’t see your comment anywhere so this is a first. lol I don’t really know, they’re both weak vocalists. Xiumin has a better head voice but.. as for their middle voices, they both have very poor support.

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    1. He is not singing above A4, so this wouldn’t tell me if he improved at all. I still hear issues with the Aye vowel that he was knowing for having.

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  7. Thank you for your analysis. As a fan of Chen, I am so happy to see the analysis like this. I have a question about the performance Chen gave on “King of Mask Singer”(not really sure about the name but I hope you can understand which show I am talking about). I once saw a comment about Chen choosing those two songs. It said that those two songs are beyond the ability of Chen. It also said Chen is not really good at choosing the proper song which fits him. What is your view about the performance Chen gave? How does he finish those two songs? What do you think about that comment? Well, it is actually three questions lol.
    Since my native language is not English, I hope you can understand my questions. Also, I could have missed your analysis on those two songs. If I really do, sorry for that.
    Thank you! And, although a little bit late, Happy New Year!!

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    1. Unfortunately I only remember one performance of his from that and it was his solo performance. He was tired and his condition wasn’t good but I don’t think it was a bad choice for him at all. I don’t really remember the duet song he sang for King of Mask Singer unfortunately.

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      1. Thank you for your reply. But actually I am not asking about the duet song but the two solo songs. As you said, he is not at a good condition when he is singing the solo songs. Anyway, thank you for your help!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Both performances had already been released at the time of this analysis and Drunken Truth is mentioned within the analysis. There’s no improvement in these performances that was not addressed within the analysis. The lower range was the biggest thing at that point.

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  8. Hello! Thank you for keeping these analyses up to date. Any chance you might refresh Baekhyun’s a bit if he’s shown any improvement?
    Also, there’s a typo in this one that’s been bothering me. The article says Chen “has not stopped to improve” rather than something along the lines of “has not stopped improving,” giving the wrong impression that he hasn’t taken the time to try improving himself.

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    1. Yes, of course. If improvement or change in technique is shown, the analysis will be edited to show the change. The typo was fixed. ^ ^

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      1. He didn’t sing in falsetto until 3:23. It’s as you’d think, it’s a falsetto. It’s not connected or relaxed enough to be properly supported.

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  9. Hi!

    First I want to thank you so much for time and dedication you’ve put into this analysis. It’s really really appreciated!

    What I wanted to clarify was if all of the video’s linked as examples are live? I’m sorry if this was mentioned and I somehow missed it. I know the “Though I Loved You” was an audio version because it was mentioned, but are all others live?

    The reason I ask is specifically for “What is Love” – it seemed like a lipsynced performance to me, but I might me wrong and it would be extremely gratifying to know it was live LOL.

    Please let me know!

    Thank you again for the analysis

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    1. We can guarantee it’s their voices but we can’t guarantee they’re not lip synched for some. The one you mentioned I believe is lip synched but it doesn’t change the fact that it shows how strained his singing gets when he gets to that part of his range. So I hope that makes sense but we usually try to only use live videos, with very few exceptions. ^ ^ Radio ones, King of Mask Singer, Immortal Song 2, etc, those are all live.

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  10. Chen recently (kind of) sang for the OST of a drama. The song is “I’m not okay.” I really liked the way he sounded there, but I wanted to ask (if you can answer) what you think about it? I leave the link

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  11. Sehun isn’t a vocalist, and he doesn’t sing very often, but if you were to judge him based on his vocal skills how would you rate him? It’s just that everyone seems to hate on sehun because he isn’t the strongest vocalist, and I’m curious if he’s actually bad as everyone says he is.

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    1. He rarely gets singing parts, but he does have brief singing parts in Sing For You and For Life. I don’t know if those are enough to properly rate him though.

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    2. We don’t rate vocalists on 10 seconds of singing. Sehun isn’t a vocalist for a reason. He doesn’t have the basics of vocal technique at all, even less than the other sub vocalists of EXO and that’s okay cause that’s not his thing anyway.

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  12. Hii can I just ask,
    How does jongdae and Beyoncé’s vocals compare? Is it a really wide gap or close? Because he has the same vocal ranges as her right?

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    1. Wait, what? Chen is a tenor whose range is E2 ~ G5 ~ B5, and Beyoncé is a mezzo with A2 ~ G5 ~ E6. Which in total is 3 octaves, 3 notes and 1 semitone. But if you’re a reader of this blog, you should know by now range is irrelevant to vocal skill. Supported range is what matters most. Beyonces supported range is like C3 ~ F5 ~ D6. That’s over 3 octaves of support.

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  13. Hi admins I just have a question to ask (i’m new to this blog and i’m not sure if someone has asked this before). Who is the better vocalist Zayn or Chen, and while I’m at it is the vocal line of EXO better than 1D. Thanks in advance

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    1. I can’t say because I don’t follow western vocalists to the same extent that I’d follow K-pop ones. They require more work to watch live performance, since there aren’t shows like King of Mask Singer or Immortal Song 2 to keep up with them. So I don’t know the extent of Zayn’s skill.

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    2. I don’t follow 1D much anymore and I’m not a know-all on vocal technique, but I know enough to say a few things about 1D’s vocals lol. Exo’s vocal line is miles better than 1D. With the exception of Zayn everyone else isn’t up to par. Liam is super nasal, so is Louis and Harry seems pretty throaty (is that even the correct word to use). Both Louis and Niall have the poorest technique and they have at best very shallow support

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  14. Hi! I have a couple questions about this video. I’m pretty incompetent lol when it comes to actual technique so excuse that LOLOL.

    4:21 – 4:29

    What note(s) is Chen singing here?
    He did some fancy run(?) thing at the end – is that a run or vibrato? How was it executed?
    Overall, is this anything new or impressive (for Chen)?

    Thank you!

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    1. Oh no it’s okay haha don’t worry, you’re welcome to ask your question! The fancy run was just C#5 B4 C#5 E5 D5 C#5 B4. He did it really cleanly but it was relatively slow actually, so that’s why he was able to execute it well enough. A vibrato is on a sustained note, where the note “shakes,” so not the same thing as a run at all. This isn’t new nor impressive, Chen has done decent runs before AND he’s sung this high in his mix, with vocal strain, before.

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    1. I hear more tension and a high larynx on the first one. The second one was better though, but still seemed to have a high larynx.

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  15. I have a question. I know he isn’t a singer but he auditioned as one for SM I believe. I always wanted to know your opinion of Chanyeol’s singing. I personally find his singing decent for a person who isn’t a vocalist. What is his singing style? Would you call him a Tenor?

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    1. What do you mean his singing style? He is not a tenor, his voice is too low. He’s a baritone. He has very shallow and inconsistent support, he usually sings in his throat actually.

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      1. You answered the style. I thought you’d say baritone, I just asked Tenor because sometimes I’ve heard him sound higher but I am unsure. Is the singing through his throat due to the tension and nerves? I notice since he isn’t a singer he probably doesn’t do the proper protocol of vocal exercises. Also, is singing through the throat a damaging and bad thing? Also do you think If he worked on it do you feel he could fix the shallow, inconsistency and throat singing?

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      2. It’s not nerves, it’s just lack of technique. I answered the style? lol yes it’s damaging. Of course he could!

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  16. I think it might have been asked before but since I couldn’t find it in the comments…could you please tell me what note chen hits in this video? https://youtu.be/LsRzr0HxbYk (1:10) Is this his mixed voice or did he use falsetto? It doesn’t sound to me like his usual falsetto so I’m really confused..Also, is it well executed or not?

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    1. It’s a mixed F#5 I believe. It’s mixed, so that takes work for sure but it’s strained. It’s more tension than proper stretch.

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  17. Hi I remember reading this a while ago but came back to it when I started watching your videos a couple of days ago. I just wanted to comment and say that I liked how you addressed that fact that idols are often signing notes which are not necessarily completely out of their range but ones they strain on due to the high demand for them in K-pop. Personally Chen is my favourite vocalist in K-pop but I can tell that often at times he struggles with certain notes and with his high notes being something that’s become expected of him and something he’s known for I really appreciated that it had been mentioned. Also it was exciting to see that this had been rewritten and seeing how much he has improved. Thankyou for this!

    P.S. I hope I addressed my thought’s properly!

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  18. Just wondering what your thoughts are of this duet – I thought Zhang Liyin complemented Chen pretty well here (I might be wrong though). It seemed like there was power yet a lot of control. And I really liked build-up at the bridge too.

    On a side note, this was my favourite of the 3 versions of this song (Korean, Japanese, Chinese).

    As always, a big fan of you and your team’s analyses! Respect!

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    1. It’s nice! I mean I think they blend well and their voices suit each other. It was dynamically and it showed off his control on his mix well as well.

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  19. Hi Ahmin, first-time poster here! I’m grateful to you and Haruko for analyzing Jongdae! Could you see Chen’s singing part starting at 1:07 for both videos? In the first one his “on neo” sounds a bit different (to my untrained ears) from the second video. Would you consider the difference to be due to his pronunciation or due to stamina or did he make a bit of a technical mistake etc? Thank you! I’m not sure how to post the videos, so I’ll put the links here. The 1st one is live and I think the 2nd one is live too.

    1st vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqUmjeoW4cY

    2nd vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU19Bwq4p70

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    1. Hi there dear! Let me see what’s going on with this one. There seems to be more backing track to the second one, his voice sounds clearer and better placed. The first one sounds less projected, he isn’t placing the sound as well in his mask, so he isn’t projecting and he sounds more out of breath. This seems to be more of a stamina problem than anything else.

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      1. Hi Ahmin! Thank you so much for the response! This might sound like a silly question, but is that particular line supported for both videos? Also, is support considerably harder to do while dancing? Thank you again! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s supported more so in the second video, not the first. Yes breathing is harder therefore so is support.

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      1. I think his lower range would be just good instead of excellent, his mix would be excellent and his upper register would remain underveloped.
        As he’s a baritone, it’s natural for him to struggle more at vocal runs than a tenor.
        I guess he would still be Proficient to Good anyway?

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      2. Agility isn’t harder for baritones. A4 in the mix for a baritone? Proficient to good? With A2? Definitely great if it were true.

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      3. Technically it shouldn’t change, right? If his rating changed it would signal some kind of inequality in how Baritones and Tenors are rated. Every extra benefit he gets from his mix he loses in his lower range. His lower range would be on the bottom side of proficient. HIs mixed range would be on the higher side of Great which averages out to Good. HIs underdeveloped upper range will then pull him back down to Proficient to Good.

        However, he still has a semitone more support than Hwanhee. And runs shouldn’t bridge the gap between Proficient to Good –> Good to Great. I’m really confused now.

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      4. Not necessarily because an A2 for a baritone is really pretty good, and A4 is kind of insane. Like I haven’t heard a baritone with supported A4’s yet. Underdeveloped head voice doesn’t usually bring someone down, it’s not that underdeveloped either. It’s not like it’s Hyorin’s falsetto, head voice boosts people up, not push them down. You’re confused cause you’re making this into an RPG as if we could work on what ifs. But knowing Chen as he is, exactly the vocalist he is, if he were a baritone who’s as clean and relaxed up to A4 like that, that’s no small feat. Hwanhee has more tension around G4/G#4 from being so heavy, it’s not all about supported range. I mean in this case, should Hwanhee be rated down? Because his lower range is “proficient” and his mix is “great” which averages him out to “good?” I mean I’ve said multiple times that I don’t rate individual registers and that ratings aren’t fully dependent on supported range, there is a lot more to it. You’re confused because you’re basing ratings off of shallow observations of supported range as if this was a RPG.

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  20. Hi!
    Big thanks to current and former contributors of this blog, I really appreciate your work! The analyses are well written, very informative and thorough, the science side of me loves it. Not to mention the patience and time it takes to answer questions in the comments. You’re great!

    It’s nice to see someone highlight singing as a skill instead of a talent. Since most of the time people will say: He/She is great at singing, he/she is so talented! Which sometimes saddens me because it implies that good singers are naturally good at singing and talented. It diminishes the effort singers put into their training and the knowledge and skill they have achieved. I mean, we’ve seen cases like Taemin who improved alot. This shows that singing, like every skill or craft, can be improved through knowledge and practice.

    There are a few questions that I hope someone can answer. The analysis states that Chen has a laryngeal vibrato. I know that Kyuhyun has a natural vibrato and the biggest difference I can hear with my untrained ears are these: Chen’s vibrato sound smaller (it doesn’t stand out much) whereas Kyuhun’s is much more noticable, bigger. Kyuhyun’s also sounds much smoother, like wave, a nice rolling motion. Chen’s, on the other hand, is rough and choppy. An example at 3:23:

    Now here is a clip of Chen singing for Fantastic Duo, at 0:46 and 1:02:

    His vibrato sounds bigger and smoother. Did he change something in his technique or did he just choose to make it bigger and smoother than usual with the same technique as before? And how can I tell if someone uses a natural vibrato vs. laryngeal vibrato? Is there a certain sound qualitiy I should look for?

    I hope this isn’t too much to ask for and I hope everyone has a nice day!

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    1. Awww omg I really needed a comment like this, I was feeling a little bit stressed out with a comment about us not being a credible source for evaluation on singing talent and they’re right, we’re not. We analyze singing skill, not talent and I am so happy to read your comment cause you totally understand the point of what we do! So thank you so much! ^ ^

      Actually I have heard and seen Kyuhyun sing with a laryngeal vibrato before, although inconsistently and not too often. Laryngeal vibratos often have a little bit of glottal like quality to them. The vibrato that you showed for Chen now, if you look at his neck you’ll notice his larynx isn’t moving up and down. Laryngeal vibrato is visually very obvious. I usually look for the quality where it’s glotta, Eunkwang of BtoB has a very obvious glottal quality when his vibrato kicks in, I think Chen can do a natural vibrato, he just isn’t consistent with it.

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      1. Thank you Ahmin! I hope Chen will favor this type of vibrato, it sounds much nicer to me. And I’m glad my comment helped to cheer you up a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi there!..ahmin..can i request for you to listen to me singing chen-best luck..i recorded myself acapella just a very short part..i want to know if im doing it right …any comments would be very much appreciated…if you are willing, I don’t know how to give it to you…its an audio

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    1. You have a very nice tenor voice, it’s light, it’s not too pushed nor too chesty. But you are relying more on the air pressure than the vocal cords, and I hear a lingering issue with tongue tension where your tongue goes back ever so slightly. 0:10 here for an example, I don’t necessarily hear strain on F4 but F#4 and above I do hear overly pushing and what I’d classify as vocal strain. Have you had any vocal lessons before? This isn’t exactly helpful for me to tell you much since it’s just the climax of a song. I wouldn’t recommend singing in a language you don’t speak because that causes issues with tension due to diction that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

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      1. So the tension im experiencing is it due to the diction only?…no i have not had any vocal lesson before…so i should work on my tongue tension?

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      2. No, not diction only. I said you’re also pushing with a lot of air. You shouldn’t try to be loud when singing high.

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      1. What do you think about his overall performance? Is the key too high for him because it seems too me like he is straining? especially towards the end of the song

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      2. Well again they all like to put notes that are too high for artists in the climaxes of songs, and it’s hard cause it’s a duet with a female so the key might not always match both of their voices.

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      3. This isn’t about Chen himself, but his duet partner. Is the way she’s moving her mouth (particularly from 1:19-1:24) a little strange, or is it just me? It looks like she’s pushing her lips to one side, if that makes any sense. If it is strange, would that be an example of jaw tension?

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  22. Hi again !..so sorry for troubling you …i’ve watched your video -how to support and how to sing high notes, again…and i really respect your expertise …so you’ve heard me sing right..so, I should work on my tongue tension, stop pushing to much air, and develop my vocal cord muscle through the ‘baby sound’ exercise and I should be able to improve right?…and, is my mixed voiced chest-dominant?….by the way, i love your blog…keep it up !

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  23. Hello! This is my first time posting here. I’ve been following this blog for a pretty long time but I’ve always been too shy to say something (not to mention post a clip of my singing) ;^^ I also wanted thank you guys; I appreciate what you guys do so much and I’ve learned so much more about singing technique and just music in general. (I could write more but then I’d never make it to the actual question haha)

    What note does Chen sing here? It’s around 0:20

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    1. Awww honey you have no reason to be shy!! That note would be a G2, it sounds like there’s a bit of a lowered larynx, some tongue tension and a bit too much vocal fry.

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    1. I think that the key wasn’t right for his voice, since it’s the original key. There’s some tightness to the Bb4’s in the chorus, but he is not doing bad at all! I am actually really impressed at how he’s approaching those Bb4’s! He is doing really well.

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  24. Hello! I’m not sure if it’s the right place to ask this question, but since you’ve mentioned the ‘EXO High Note Battle’ both here and on Baekhyun’s analysis, but what about Xiumin, who supposedly won the battle? I’m not a qualified person to be saying this, but I think that compared to them, Xiumin’s singing has always been pretty average, you may even say weak (and I don’t really see him improving over the years) – he’s a subvocalist for a reason. So how is it possible that he hit the highest note clearly (or was it strained and I just didn’t hear it?)? Is his upper register good, but we just don’t hear it in their songs? Or can a person be good at singing high notes without having proper singing techniques?

    Sorry if I seem dumb, but I always wondered about that. Hope I’m not a bother (English is also not my first language so I hope I made myself clear enough)

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    1. Well a high note battle isn’t a battle of skill, only who can go higher. Xiumin and Baekhyun actually hit the same note, C#6, Xiumin was just louder and not flat. He was straining quite a bit actually though. He has a head voice and lots of potential but that’s not a supported sound he’s got up there. Oh your English is fine!!

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    1. The first link worked don’t worry. He did as well as any tenor trying to sing a soprano song in the original soprano key would, lots of strain with a very high bright mix. He’s not a soprano and even many sopranos would strain within this range of C5 ~ G5, so I know a lot of male idols do this for fun but I haven’t heard a single one support in this range. Even sopranos struggle with this range, so why should a tenor even try? I don’t know, but they seem to like it.

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      1. Even though he did strain a lot and he was really flat especially as he went higher, isn’t being able to mix so high really impressive? I wouldn’t even dream about mixing so high and sing for so much time. One more question…Isn’t the note at 1:23 supported? it seems to me like it’s well placed and also sounds nice. 😛

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