BTS’ Vocal Analysis: V

Vocal Range

Eb2 ~ D6 (3 octaves, 5 notes and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

C3 ~ C4/C#4

Voice Type

Baritone

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in BTS
  • The strongest sense of breath support amongst all members of BTS
  • Able to remain most relaxed within his comfort range
  • Able to transition into his falsetto with relative ease
  • Mixed voice is light and lacks pushing, not trying to sing too high with too much throat tension
  • Able to remain relatively relaxed up to C#4 and at times even D4
  • Sense of pitch has improved since debut
  • Sufficient support is maintained down to C3 in his chest voice

Points for Improvement

  • Tends to sing with too much airiness
  • Support is shallow and underdeveloped
  • Tends to lower his larynx too often when singing
  • Above C#4, he tends to sound harsh and flat
  • Tone production often becomes flat due to lack of forward placement
  • Lower range is relatively underdeveloped for a baritone
  • Unable to support his head voice
  • Falsetto is often too airy and lacks projection

Registers

  • Lower register: Due to the range in which BTS’ music is written in, he gets very few chances to showcase the true development of his lower range. Thus, his voice is relatively underdeveloped in his lower range for a baritone, where his tone production becomes muffled as he sings below C3.
  • Mixed register: His mixed voice is relatively light in terms of mixing, where he uses more head voice than chest voice when singing higher to minimize the amount of effort and strain on his vocal cords. Although able to sing above his first passaggio, his support is somewhat shallow and he tends to become tense above C#4.
  • Upper register: Able to transition into his falsetto with relatively ease, his overall tone production is airy throughout most of his voice but becomes fairly obvious as he sings in his falsetto. Able to produce a connected head voice even though support isn’t present.

Agility

Drawing less influences from R&B than many other idol vocalists in K-pop, V generally sings with an airy approach throughout his range and doesn’t often attempt singing vocal runs. The airiness in his voice makes it harder for him to be able to connect his vocal cords properly and control his pitch. This results in often sloppy runs when he does attempt them, in rare occasions. Perhaps aware that his voice isn’t necessarily very agile, as he lacks the correct muscle coordination to sing and bounce through different notes quickly, it is hard to find examples of V attempting vocal runs. The few times he’s done so, it’s possible to hear that he lacks clarity in tone and often sings runs by sliding through the notes quickly, without hitting each individual pitch precisely at the center of the note. This causes his runs to sound sloppy and pitchy overall, as heard in “Sorry“, “Little Star“, and “듣는편지.”

Overall analysis

V debuted as a member of the vocal line of BTS in 2013. Although not the main vocalist, the distribution of lines was even enough that he sang relatively often regardless of him being a lead vocalist or not. In most cases, idol groups favor vocalists with higher voices because most idol songs are written within quite high ranges, for males and females. Thus it is more common to see a main or lead vocalist of a group be a tenor or a soprano. In BTS’ case, V’s voice stands out because he is the only baritone singing with other three tenors in the group, although every rapper in BTS is also a baritone. His voice is thick in tone and slightly lower range, but still remaining relatively light in weight and sounding more like a lyric baritone than anything else. Although mostly written for a lower tenor range, BTS’ music is written within a relatively low enough range where V is able to sing alongside the tenors without too much stress on his vocal cords.

Considering most tenor songs generally are written above C3, V as a baritone gets very few chances to actually sing in a more baritone-like range most of the time. Thus his lower range below C3 is mostly underdeveloped and not very well explored, as he doesn’t sing that low very often. Down to C3, he has shown a clear enough consistency of tone production and projection, where both his vocal cords and his support work together to allow his chest voice to project with decent tonality. This can be heard in “안아줘“, “Oh Happy Day!” and “Someone Like You.” Below C3, however, he starts to lose connection and support, as his voice starts to become more muffled and breathier. This seems to be because his vocal cords aren’t developed enough as he sings lower, so his tone becomes less clear as he’s unable to project and place his voice in his chest as easily as above C3. This can be heard in with the Bb2’s in “If You“, A2’s in “안아줘“, G2’s in “Let Me Know” and the octave unison E2’s in “Someone Like You.”

His mixed voice is relatively well developed in terms of mixing and has enough support for him to be able to sing above his first passaggio, B3, without tensing up his throat too much. The range from C4 to D4 can be sung with some support as he’s able to remain relaxed and not sing only from his throat. This can be heard in “바람인가요“, “듣는편지” and “안아줘.” As he ascends above D4, he tends to use a very light mixed voice which is mostly head dominant, which allows him to push his voice with less tension than if he were to use a heavier and louder chest-dominant mixed voice. Nonetheless, the lack of support above D4 causes him to sound shallow and thin the higher he sings, as his voice becomes too light and oftentimes he can sound somewhat flat when singing above his comfort range. He tends to sing with a soft approach, but tension is still present in his throat as he’s unable to connect his breath support to his vocal cords in order to maintain his throat opened. This can be heard in the D4’s in “Something“, Eb4’s in “눈, 코, 입“, E4’s in “If I Ain’t Got You“, “Someone Like You“, F4’s in “I NEED U“, “If You“, “Butterfly“, F#4’s in “Let Me Know“, “Love is not Over“, G4’s in “Bang Bang Bang“, “안아줘” “눈, 코, 입“, “이사” and G#4’s in “잡아줘.”

His upper register mostly consists of a falsetto, with occasional moments where he’s shown the ability to use a head voice. Most of the time his vocal cords aren’t fully connected and he sings with excessive airiness, which causes him to sound thin and soft in his upper register, mostly associated with a falsetto voice. Although relaxed to an extent, a falsetto is not a register where true support can be present. Support would only be truly present if he were to use his head voice properly, however the few times V has shown a head voice have shown that he has issues with maintaining the connection of breath support with his vocal cords, where he instead pushes too much air against his vocal cords instead of allowing them to produce his head voice with their own strength and development. This results in a head voice that lacks control, by not being relaxed nor supported. This can be heard when contrasting his falsetto in “듣는편지“, “House of Cards“, “눈, 코, 입“, “Butterfly” and “Miss Right” with his head voice in “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” Interestingly enough he is the only member of the vocal line to be able to push his head voice all the way up to the sixth octave, higher than any of the tenors. This can be heard with the C6 in a high note battle during a fan meeting as well as the D6 in a more recent fanmeeting.

One of V’s main issues actually come from his tendency to push his larynx down when singing and not fully maintaining his vocal cords connected throughout his range. When your vocal cords aren’t fully connected, a lot of air can pass through causing the vocalist to sound breathy and soft. Stylistically this can work in many cases, but training yourself to only be able to sing that way can cause the vocalist to limit their vocal development. If the vocal cords don’t fully come together when singing, the vocalist will be unable to allow their vocal cords to become stronger and develop in terms of volume, range and muscle strength.

Adding onto this, V usually favors lowering his larynx and opening the back of his throat a lot more than necessary when singing even within a relatively high range. Most of the time, V’s voice can be perceived as quite deep but actually when a vocalist pushes their larynx down, it alters the natural tone of their voice and causes their voice to sound much deeper than it really is. This is often a stylistic approach used in soul music, that can be turned on and off at will. However for V it’s either this approach, airy and overly opened in the back of throat while not fully relaxed, or a harsh growly approach. Only having two options can be limiting to a vocalist if they’re unable to grasp breath support fully yet. Since V tends to push the sound of his voice in the back of his throat a lot, the direction of air from his voice isn’t properly placed in his nasal cavities, which makes it harder for him to understand mask placement and project his voice. As such, he tends to sound slightly flat in tone production the higher he sings due to lacking a good connection of proper breath support, an open throat and a forward mask placed sound.

When comparing V to the other vocalists of BTS, it is possible to hear that both he and Jungkook are the most relaxed out of all four of them. They have the least issues with tension and have a relatively decent range in which their voices are more or less supported, even though support may be shallow. However things can get tricky when comparing a tenor to a baritone, as being a baritone and having to sing in the same exact range as a tenor puts V at a clear disadvantage. Truthfully BTS’ music isn’t written for a high tenor range but it is still a challenging range for a baritone to be singing in. The passaggio is where the voice naturally lifts and the muscle coordination becomes slightly different, as sort of a bridge between a register and the next. The first passaggio is the transition from chest voice to mixed voice, while the second one is from mixed voice to head voice. A lyric tenor’s passaggi are usually around D4/Eb4 and G4/Ab4, while a lyric baritone’s passaggi are B3 and E4.

If V were to sing the same song as Jungkook for an example, but the key was changed to suit his voice as a baritone, he’d be able to handle singing above his first passaggio slightly better than Jungkook would. So the only true difference between them is that V has a slightly better grasp of breath support. However given the fact that V can’t simply change the key of every BTS song there is to suit his voice, he has to sing in the same exact range as the other three tenors. So naturally within the range that these songs are written in, Jungkook is the most qualified member to handle singing their repertoire. If V were to look into more solo singing opportunities, understanding his own voice type and embracing the true tone of his voice could help him develop his voice better as a baritone if he could sing in a range that’s natural to his voice. For future improvements, working on further developing connection between his vocal cords to be able to handle more dynamic changes, while developing his breath support could help V develop his vocal technique better overall. However for the time being, his current skill level is adequate for the type of music he sings.

Musicianship

V is not much of a risk taker when it comes to his vocals and singing. He tends to sing with one specific style and doesn’t deviate much from that specific sound. He tends to choose either a harsh growly sound or a soft airy sound, which remains the same throughout most of his vocal performances. He doesn’t often try to add his own melodic changes to songs and instead chooses to sing songs as they’re originally written. When given the chance however, he does like to add his own twist to his vocal cords and is able to blend his voice with others and even himself when adding layers of harmonies to his vocal performances. One example would be the added harmonies present in his studio cover of “Someone Like You”, where he sang the song in the key he felt was most comfortable for his voice, adding his own octave unisons and harmonies throughout.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

S vocalists: Stylistic Vocalists

C Vocalists: Commercial Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

video by: We Are D-town

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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704 thoughts on “BTS’ Vocal Analysis: V

  1. Just out of curiosity what is the proper way to execute riffs and runs to make it sound more natural rather than forced?

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    1. it’s just that I also lack the control over them when I intend for the sequences to be faster and shorter, they come out slow.

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    2. Not an admin, but I have taken lessons from Ahmin and talked about this with him- runs are all about control over precision of pitch and flexibility of the vocal cords. Practicing chromatic scales at different speeds will help you increase the vocal cord stretch and flexibility

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    1. I admire that person to take Jin’s statement and draw the completely wrong conclusions from it, namely that this is an example of how talented they are. Jin is literally saying it’s too hard for him (and Jimin) and that’s the only thing they hear? The boys are basically calling out the company for making them sing in a way that’s uncomfortable for them, but the fangirls are just proving the company right by again over-praising these strained high notes as the pinnacle of singing talent.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yeah, it’s pretty troublesome, they’re basically exposing their company’s dismissing of their comfort because it’s just… what the producer wants and final point, but the fandom takes it completely wrong. I don’t know if this was in one of AhMin’s videos, but there was a video where a vocalist couldn’t reach the notes in studio recording and all the producer said to her was to scream/shout the note. I was terribly reminded of that.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. There are people who call things like this out, but you just end up getting attacked so people who know otherwise often just keep quiet. It’s sad but this fandom sucks up too BigHit too much…

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  2. Hello I had a query :
    I’m assuming you heard their most recent album love yourself: tear
    I’m no music expert though in this album their voices in the side tracks feels as though they are quite comfortable with singing this way
    And they aren’t much of high notes unless we include magic shop.
    If you do reply I’don’t be extrEmily happy

    I’m one of those people who solely rely on emotions which come with the song which according to me bts are able to express quite well (?)

    If you do reply I’d be grateful 😁
    Oh and your thoughts on fake love ?

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    1. I’m so sorry but unless people show me stuff, I don’t listen to albums much. I’d rather rely on live performances instead.

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      1. These are the links to them singing fake love after the wins

        You might wanna fast forward towards the end

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      2. Oh this is the song magic shop

        BTW Jimin’s voice in the previous video
        Usually he doesn’t sound like that I wanted to know whether the cracks in his voice was due to lack of rest or it was just bound to happen?

        Sorry for borthering you xx

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    2. the notes in Fake Love are really high for Jin and Jimin, they have had trouble performing them live. Jin either does it in falsetto or doesn’t do it at all, which was obvious for all performances where the backing track wasn’t super loud. And Jimin strained a lot for those notes too. The rest is hard to say cause they haven’t performed most of the album songs live, and Airplane and Anpanman seem fairly comfortable to sing for them.

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  3. Hello ..! is this true ? Thank you

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    1. None of them have proper established vocal cord coordination, support nor placement. To compare them is really childish, unnecessary and uncalled for. No, this isn’t true. They both have many shortcomings when singing any of their repertoire.

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  4. Ehh I always thought Jungkook is the strongest in BTS and no one else came close. It’s weird because I keep hearing heavy autotune in Taehyung’s voice in almost every BTS songs. Or maybe that’s just BTS style. To be fair I haven’t heard him sing non bts song too 😂
    Or it’s just his voice. Because I swear sometimes my voice sounds like it’s autotuned even though I dont have the tool. Do you know this type of voice?

    Im not complaining. Not jungkook fans. Not an army. pure curious. Please dont kill me army.

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    1. I’m not an army too but a tae stans ( no need to pretend coz I’m a proud fan of him ) I’m not a singer but his voice sounds really good to me .. especially when he is singing acapella .. he’s stable live too

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      1. It’s perfectly okay for you to like his voice. We’re not trying to get you to dislike the tone of his voice, but just be educated about his technique. I’m curious though as to what you mean by he’s “stable” live.

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  5. OK, I don’t know if what I’m about to say will make sense, but here goes. I have been trying to wrap my head around you say Tae is the strongest vocalist and what support is. I think I might have figured it out?

    I’m not a professional singer, but can hold a pretty decent tune. I was singing Fake Love today and randomly trying to imitate the vocal line’s live voices in the song. There was a distinct difference in how I had to sing to mimic Taehyung’s voice versus the others. I found that when imitating Jungkook, Jin and especially Jimin I was singing mostly in my throat. But when I was trying to imitate Taehyung I had felt like I had to contract my abdomen to get the level of power he has in his voice (the “love you so mad” part). Is this what is meant by support?

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    1. No not necessarily because the gap between them isn’t large. It’s just a degree of being relaxed, mostly in covers where he sings more naturally. Lately he sings by pushing his tongue back inward and his voice sounds thicker than his natural tone. Currently with that style he’s not singing with better technique than the others, he’s just shown that when he wants to, he can but the gap is so small. Support is a feeling of being grounded and in control, you’re describing pushing.

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  6. Hi Ahmin, recently ı watched Summer Packed 2018. I saw that Taehyung could hold his breath under water for 1 minute and 27 seconds. This shows the capacity of his lungs, doesn’t it? I don’t know if this is positive or negative for him, but I can’t hold my breath for 30 seconds under water. Can I get the thoughts on this subject?

    https://78.media.tumblr.com/52978c0ba7f67c640d97884d7e0fbbe3/tumblr_pdnlkvu0Bq1sni4n7o6_400.gif https://78.media.tumblr.com/ce64a093aa8701a9f36526b140295da7/tumblr_pdnlkvu0Bq1sni4n7o3_400.gif

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    1. The kind of breathing used for singing versus for running, swimming or even yoga isn’t the same. My father can hold his breath underwater for about 5 minutes but that doesn’t mean he supports when he sings.

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  7. Hi Ahmin, did you watch their last concert performances? Jimin’s voice better recordings but weaker concert performances. Jungkook did well and Taehyung did well aside from that sustained note (and took his wisdom tooth only 4 days ago) as far as I could hear. I didn’t hear the beginning of the song. But honestly I don’t really hear much improvement in their technique compared to like Wings tour. They’re just singing more stuff in their range. I know people always gush about their vocal improvement every comeback, but when I listen to them live they sound pretty much the same as always to me. Some general improvement due to practice, sure, but not much in a technical sense. Slightly more relaxed for more of their range perhaps.

    Can I get your thoughts on this vocal line performance?

    The Truth Untold day 1

    day 2

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    1. Recently I haven’t been really giving full performance reviews or answered video questions unless I had already seen them before. However I wanted to respond and acknowledge your comment and say I agree with you on your comments generally. Also I’m shocked he sang shortly after removing his wisdom tooth. That doesn’t sound very advisable.

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      1. I don’t know that but thank you for answering me.^^ Yeah, ı remember mine. I have not slept properly for two weeks with jaw pain. But he gave a concert for two days, and it has rehearsals and so on. :/ He probably had to continue, because he couldn’t cancel it his schedules.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m just curious to see if he has improved at his techniques. (I really hope he did) I’m not really sure how to tell but sometimes I feel he’s not hitting the notes right during lives but I can be wrong. For me at least, he sounds like he plugging his nose sometimes. Not sure if that was intentional. On the contrary, he sometimes sounds amazing and just like the studio version. Here are some links to him singing live recently:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZZuIrw3CLY (couldn’t find a better live version of this song so sorry if it is hard to hear)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YQNTewyKB8 (I personally he did this one great)
        I’m just most curious to find out if he is improving on his vocal techniques.

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    1. It won’t let me reply to your last comment, but when you said it sounds like he’s plugging his nose sometimes – he said in the Vlive they did in LA that he was sick with a cold. That could be the reason why.

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      1. Jimin sings at 2:05 and his voice cracks (?) at 2:16 or so, then there’s Jin after him who goes flat/sharp (I’m not good at identifying that) at 2:28 or so? Tae starts at 2:37 and sounds a bit off in a way I can’t specify?? It would be great if you could comment on this, fandom is discussing this quite a lot at the moment lol. I see a lot of people say that Jimin and Taehyung “messed up” but to me Tae sounds more or less okay…? Is he hitting the right notes? I’m really confused.

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      2. 2:05? I didn’t quite a crack, there are some issues with the transitions being smooth though. 2:13 he is pretty tight there, like his throat is more closed than usual. 2:28 Yes he did go flat. 2:37 He is pushing quite a bit, since his voice is lower, to sing in that range he needs to make more effort with the way he sings, considering his current technique. I mean uhm “messed up” is a very generic way of putting anything. Because they generally have issues with singing with a closed throat and straining generally, and pitchiness too. This isn’t necessarily new, but Jimin particularly sounds tighter than usual. V was singing the right notes in terms of pitch. He was straining, he was pushing, he had a little crack. Yes but this isn’t new exactly.

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