F#2 ~ C#6 (3 Octaves, 3 notes & 1 semitone)
A2/Bb2 ~ Bb4/B4
A2/Bb2 ~ A5 (with head voice)
- Arguably the most well balanced male vocalist in K-pop
- Able to support his head voice consistently with head resonance
- Head voice is supported up to A5
- Mixed voice is supported and resonant up until Bb4/B4
- Has sung well placed notes above his supported range
- Chooses between style and technique at will, mostly in control of his voice
- Shown huge improvement over the years, as well as work ethic
- Lower range has improved immensely in development and support
- Able to bring support from his chest voice down to A2/Bb2
- Able to execute generally precise slow to medium-tempo vocal runs
- Consistent with support up to B4 when phrasing instead of sustaining
- Every register has improved, as well as the connection
- Learned to lighten up and brighten up his tone over the years for better resonance/projection/ease
- Notes above Bb4/B4 in his mix tend to become overly gritty and throaty
- Sustained B4’s can become throaty
- Lower range below A2 lacks support and connection
- Head voice can become pushed above A5
- Still has some bad habits with throatiness that can linger and become worse due to fatigue
- Lower register: Very well developed in range and tone quality. As a tenor he is able to maintain his voice projected, his vocal cords connected and his chest voice well placed as low as A2/Bb2 consistently. Doesn’t usually sing with a lowered larynx.
- Mixed register: Resonance is produced consistently throughout his range. He is able to mix with much technique now than he used to, lightening up and allowing his voice to sing up to Bb4 with a clean technique. Resonance and good placement are kept above that as well.
- Upper register: Huge improvement, mostly in usage, development and even confidence. Head voice is almost always connected, dynamically controlled, head placed and supported. Able to maintain support in his head voice up to A5.
As a rock singer, Jung Dongha doesn’t usually attempt anything that’s too vocally challenging when it comes to vocal runs. It is quite rare to hear him adding runs to his vocal performances, as he would fall more under the category of a belter instead of a vocal embellisher. Nonetheless he has shown many times that he possesses enough control of his vocal cords to be able to sing through a number of different notes within one vowel sound in one breath, the definition of a vocal run. His runs do tend to be slowed down and mostly simple rhythmic, but the muscle coordination is clear. In other words, every note is sung individually while connected smoothly in one legato line. He seems mostly comfortable with runs in his head voice, as most instances of him attempting runs happen to be when he sings in his head voice, such as in “꽃이 핀다,” “슬픈 표정 하지말아요” and “아씨.” More complex runs can become quite pitchy though, as heard in “비상.”
While most artists around the world start their careers often in their teens or in their early 20’s, Jung Dongha is an exception to this rule. Although being of similar age to many other veteran vocalists in the industry, his career didn’t start until 2005 at the age of 25, long after his military days, when he debuted as the 9th vocalist of the legendary band Boohwal. To date, he is the vocalist to have stayed the longest with the band, from 2005 until 2014 when he finally left and went onto pursue his solo career. His preferred musical genre lies in the rock scene, where he takes most of his influences and seems most comfortable. Nonetheless he is not limited to that genre and has performed with enough flexibility with genres that range from Bossa Nova to Latin. His voice is naturally weighty and thick, but with a bright quality from his technique. The mature quality of his voice added to the chest-dominant mixed voice approach he uses only accentuates to natural thickness of his voice. His voice type would most likely fall under the full lyric tenor fach.
As soon as he debuted, Jung Dongha was able to showcase at least the minimum adequate understanding of vocal technique. It is unknown whether he did receive vocal training or not prior to his debut with Boohwal, but he was able to produce resonance from the beginning and had already grasped the concept of breath support quite easily. However this breath support didn’t extent very far and so parts of his range seemed quite neglected. This would show whenever he would sing lower than E3, higher than G#4/A4 and when he would mostly avoid singing in his upper register at all.
His lower range when he first debuted was quite poorly developed, where his vocal cords didn’t seem to be strong enough to maintain tone as he reached the lower portion of the third octave of the piano, such as in “사랑할수록.” As the years passed, however, he made massive improvement is his approach to his lower. He learned to truly place his voice in his mask and chest resonators throughout his lower range, being able to easily project as low as A2 with proper support and a neutral larynx. This happened because his chest voice muscles, or his thyroarytenoid muscles, were exercised and thus were able to be developed healthily, allowing him to go from a very unclear and airy quality in his lower range, to a very strong and well projected sound, as heard with the A2’s in “슬픈 표정 하지말아요” and Bb2’s in “취중진담” and “사랑했지만,” as well as the C3’s in “거위의꿈.” Despite having developed his lower range exceptionally well for a tenor, he knows when to pull back his sound and choose a certain amount of airiness while still maintaining proper support. This is done for stylistic reasons, as heard in “보고싶다.” When singing below A2 however there is still a tendency for him to lose support and become fairly airy, as heard with the G2’s in “골목길” and F#2’s in “취중진담.”
His mixed voice is another area where he’s shown vast improvement throughout the years. From his debut days, he has always used a mostly chest dominant mixed voice. This allowed him to always have very good chest placement in the lower portion of his mix voice. He’s never really had issues managing air into his vocal cords, while maintaining his soft palate lifted. As such, combining an open throat with no nasality in placement, and wise use of his chest resonators, he has always been able to produce resonance around the E4 ~ G#4/A4 range. However support and resonance would become inconsistent whenever he’d start singing up to G#4, because of the excessive amount of compression in his throat muscles. Due to the nature of his singing style, often rock singers believe that the harsher and more shouty the quality of one’s singing is, the more “rock-like” it becomes. However there is a healthy way to use chestiness and harshness in one’s voice, and an unhealthy way. Throughout a good amount of his career in Boohwal, Dongha maintained a stagnant approach to his mixed voice. He would often sing with proper support, but his sound would be placed too low in his chest and so it wouldn’t bloom as he ascended in range. Added with the amount of throat tension he had, he would often strain his voice as he sang higher. This can be heard in “추억이면,” “사랑할수록,” and “관화문 연가.”
When comparing his early years to 2012 and 2013, his singing approach had already improvement in his placement, but the throat tension was still quite evident, as heard with the G#4’s in “비상,” A4’s in “정때문에” and Bb4’s in “날 버린 남자.” However suddenly in 2014, there was a very drastic change in the way he approached singing in his mixed voice. Instead of placing the sound almost entirely in his chest, he learned to open up his mask resonators so that he could brighten up his placement while still maintaining his signature thickness. This allowed him to sing with much more ease in his mixed voice. Not only that, but he also greatly minimized the amount of compression in his whenever he’d sing higher. So he went from inconsistency with supporting A4’s and G#4’s, to being able to produce resonance up to Bb4/B4. Examples of this include his G4’s in “미워도 다시 한번,” “동반자,” G#4’s in “사랑했지만,” his A4’s in “슬픈 표정 하지말아요,” his Bb4’s in “나와 같다면,” “사랑했지만,” “내 사랑 내 곁에,” as well as his B4’s in “어쩌다 마주친 그대,” “사랑했지만” and “아씨.” Despite his improvement, there’s still a portion of his range where his throatiness remains. He still tends to sound quite rough and throaty when sustaining B4’s or any note above that. His phrased B4’s tend to be quite relaxed, even occasionally his C5’s can be well placed and somewhat relaxed, such as in “거위의 꿈” and “내 사랑 내곁에.” However most notes around the C5 range and above still sound quite strained, as heard in the C5’s in “보고싶다,” “늪,” “바람이려요,” and the C#5’s in “모두 다 사랑하리,” “주문 (MIROTIC)” and “제발.”
Most notably the register where he seems to have shown the most improvement throughout the years is his head voice. It was rather uncommon for Dongha to sing with his head voice prior to 2014, where he would often just be heard belting in most of his vocal performances. One example of his head voice can be heard in “꽃밭에서” where proper head placement is present and connection is as well, but the muscles seemed relatively under explored. However past 2014 he would often add passages of head voice into many of his vocal performances. This can be heard below C5, such as in “보고 싶다” and “사랑했지만,” as well as in the F#5’s in “꽃이 핀다,” and “나와 같다면,” G5’s in “슬픈 표정하지말아요,” and A5’s in “아씨.” He not only is able to produce a supported and resonant head voice, he could also choose to add his stylistic rock roughness into his sound at will, going from a clean resonant head voice note, to a throaty and harsh sound within the same exact note. Examples of that include his sustained E5’s in “모두 다 사랑하리,” and in “빗물,” as well as the F5 in “골목길.” Instances of him going above A5 are rare, his only few times being during a high note battle with 4Men’s Shin Yongjae, where he went onto quite pushed notes, such as B5 and C#6, as well as one performance where he seems to have some sort of tension when singing as high as Bb5, as heard in “골목길.” Nonetheless his head voice is extremely well developed for a male, as he rarely ever chooses to sing in falsetto and he shows great control of his head voice to an extent most tenors can’t handle at all.
Although vast improvement has been made throughout his career in his technique, Jung Dongha is only human. When fatigued, he is likely to fall back into old bad habits and tends to become quite throaty even within his previously established supported range. In instances such as the Bb4’s in “사랑” and “발걸음,” as well as A4’s in “꽃이 핀다,” a rough throaty quality coming from him pushing his voice despite being noticeably tired cause him to strain his voice on days where he should most likely rest. However this can happen to any vocalist on a rough period of little rest and hectic schedules, as he’s shown most of the time he’s able to perform with no strain in said range when in good health. His technique is often also controlled, as he’s able to musically use his voice to add whatever emotions he chooses to his singing. He can create smooth, head voice transitions during softer choruses and then allow his mixed voice to bloom in others, to accentuate the dynamics in a song. He also can add throatiness for rock purposes at will, even being able to play with his placement in his head voice, going from head to mask placement, such as in “늪.” On top of it all, he shows great control of pitch and a healthy vibrato when in his supported range. One bad habit he seems to have is not opening his mouth enough sometimes when enunciating words a bit too speech-like.
Jung Dongha is arguably the most well developed male vocalist currently active in the K-pop music industry. He is a professional and knowing he was leaving his band Boohwal in 2014, made serious improvements in his overall vocal development and technique. He showed great professionalism and true passion for his craft, showing that improvement can happen anytime, at any age, as long as the right amount of practice is done correctly. His dedication allowed him to have a voice that’s supported, even and connected throughout all registers, where he’s able to control most notes he sings with little to no strain and is able to perform a variety of genres while still staying true to his artistry. It is advised that he maintain a healthy schedule so as not fall back into old bad habits, as well as working on the rest of his mixed voice to eliminate his bad habits once and for all.
Throughout the years Jung Dongha has grown immensely when it comes to his own unique color and identity as a musician. He was able to stay together with Boohwal for years as their lead singer, but then also was able to grow and find his own character. He does maintain his musical identity as being a rock singer most of all, but nonetheless he remains flexible in his style. He has clear control of his voice and is able to arrange songs so that he can add any upper belting he wishes, as well as more recently showcasing his head voice many times during his vocal performances. On top of it all, he is able to use gritty vocal qualities present in rock singing as he wishes, being able to create rougher vocal qualities without losing the control of his instrument.
Great to Excellent Vocalist
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: AizawaAya
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)