When most people sing they mainly use three parts of the voice: lower register (chest voice), middle register (modal voice), and upper register (head voice and/or falsetto). Each part of the voice requires a different placement (which I will get to later) and produces a different sound. However, the basic technique required remains the same for each register: good breath support and control, and proper placement.
The chest voice is the part of the voice that is most commonly used when we are speaking. The chest voice, also known as the lower extension, is where a person sings the lowest notes of their range (below F#4).
Used for notes at F#4 and above, it’s the mixture and blending of the chest voice and the head voice together. It’s used when singing high notes (not in falsetto or head voice) in a belted manner. For example, when you hear singers belt they are doing it in their modal voice. You can belt in a chest dominant-mix (Ailee) or with a balanced mix (Younha). A head dominant mix is also used to hit high notes. A chest dominant mix is dangerous for those with light voices because it wears away at the vocal cords, so Ailee needs to learn how to belt with a balanced mix if she wants to keep that voice intact!
Used in upper notes. It has that “ringing” and bright sound. It’s called “head voice” as the feeling of the resonance is in the head when singing. Example of head voice in K-pop (3:18-3:28):
False, airy voice that makes the upper register (high notes) easier to access with this voice. To be more specific, it is a weaker, breathier extension of the head voice. An example of falsetto in K-pop is Rain‘s “30Sexy“.
Head voice and falsetto differ in tone and production. Head voice is produced by thyroarytenoid muscles fully vibrating and coming in contact with each other, whilst falsetto is produced by only thin edges of the thyroarytenoid muscles vibrating and coming in contact with each other, which offers less resistance of the breath flow. In other words, in falsetto production, there is air passing through the vocal cords, as opposed to head voice production where no air is passing through. This causes the tone to be airy and weak with lack of resonance.
Falsetto is therefore a disconnected part of the voice, while head voice is a connected part of the voice (the whistle tone is, however, a disconnected part of the voice). We can also refer to falsetto as a “disconnected head voice”. If the falsetto is unnaturally airier than usual, meaning that an extremely small portion of the vocal cords come in contact, then we can call this falsetto a “disconnected falsetto”. When a head voice is resonant, we call it a “developed head voice”, and a well developed head voice usually sounds operatic, for example Ock Joo Hyun at 3:53-3:57:
Falsetto can also lead to vocal irritation, which leads to the damage of vocal cords if it is used too much.
Other Parts Of The Voice
Vocal Fry Register: Lowest register of the human voice. It has that “frying”, sizzling, or rattling sound. This register is useless in singing and it cannot be counted as part of one’s vocal range. Plus, using this register too often and bringing it up to relatively higher notes can be very damaging to the singing voice.
Whistle Register: Highest register of the human voice. Think Mariah Carey’s whistles.
Passagio: Place within the vocal range where the voice shifts into a different register. Each voice type has a different passagio, which is why the latter is a good indicator of what voice type you are.
Voice Classification (Fach System)
The vocal fach is a system used to identify opera singers’ voice type. Although it is a mere speculation if applied to “pop singers”, many people do believe there are undeniable components of the pop voice that could be associated to that of the opera voice, leading us to believe that certain pop singers have such and such voice types, or will have such voice types, if operatically trained.
Voice classification is done by analyzing certain aspects of the voice, such as timbre, vocal weight, tessitura, passaggi, and vocal range. However, when it comes to pop voices, only timbre, vocal weight, and passaggi are useful in identifying their voice type. The more well-trained the voice is, the more accurate the voice classification will be.
Timbre: The quality of their voice. Examples are bright, dark, cold, rich, soft, steely, metallic, mellow, warm, etc.
Vocal Weight: Refers to the “lightness” or “heaviness” of one’s voice. It is determined by the “thickness” of one’s vocal folds. Lighter voices are associated with the term “lyric”. Heavier voices are associated with the term “dramatic”. Lyric voices have a thin, small, and bright sound. Dramatic voices have a huge, deep, and dark sound. Lyric voices have more speed and better agility/flexibility than dramatic voices. Dramatic voices have more power and more volume output than lyric voices. Spinto voice refers to a voice with medium vocal weight. They have that “creamy”, “rich”, “womanly”, and fuller sound than lyrics, but are not heavy or dark enough to be considered dramatics. The weight of certain voice types may be sub-categorized into “full” or “light” (light lyric soprano, full lyric soprano, etc). Light voices possess that “youthful” or “girlish” quality, whereas full voices sound more mature or smooth.
Tessitura: Range where a singer is most comfortable singing and where their voice sounds the most pleasant. It is also known as “comfort zone”.
- Lyric Coloratura Soprano
- Light Lyric Soprano
- Full Lyric Soprano
- Spinto Soprano
- Dramatic Soprano
- Lyric Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano:
- Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
- Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano
- Lyric Contralto
- Coloratura Contralto
- Leggiero Tenor
- Light Lyric Tenor
- Full Lyric Tenor
- Spinto Tenor
- Dramatic Tenor
- Lyric Baritone
- Dramatic Baritone
- Lyric Bass
- Low Bass
Basses and Contraltos are very, very rare voice types.
Series of notes that a singer is able to produce, starting from the lowest note to the highest note. Only notes that are musically “useful” are counted as part of a singer’s vocal range. Notes produced by squealing, screaming, and shouting are not counted as part of one’s vocal range as they cannot be used musically. A vocalist has full control over their instrument when they can produce a healthy and powerful sound in EVERY single note of their range.
A person’s vocal range can be very small (Judy Garland) or very large (Mariah Carey), but the size of one’s range does not determine whether or not they’re a good vocalist — contrary to common belief. Therefore, if someone says ‘X’ is a good singer because they have an “extensive range”, that’s not a sustainable argument whatsoever.
You can find your range by using this video:
Your vocal range also doesn’t determine your voice type.
A couple vocal range videos in K-pop:
As you can see, Taeyeon has quite a small vocal range whilst Ga-In has a significantly wider one; however, Taeyeon’s voice has been developed more evenly throughout her registers allowing for a more extensive supported range.
One of the commonly used methods to name a note is through the “Scientific Pitch Notation”.
The musical notes consist of (in order): C, D, E, F, G, A, B. If you count the next C, it would be one octave. So one octave is eight notes. The number next to the note is the octave. For example, C5 is the note C (from the piano) in the fifth octave.
b = Flat = Half Note Lower
# = Sharp = Half Note Higher
Musical notes in order (sharp and flat notes included): C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb, B.
For example, my vocal range is B2 to C#6. Therefore, I have three octaves, one note, and a semi-tone of vocal range. Most untrained people have around a two octave range, but as you master vocal techniques, your range can expand.
434 thoughts on “The Voice”
Hi admins~ there’s something about vocal classifications that confuse me – can people change their vocal fach/type? Because people keep saying that it’s someone’s “natural voice type” I assumed that it’s not something that people can change (without surgery or anything), but I hear many people, including you guys, saying that Christina Aguilera went from a Light Lyric Soprano to a Mezzo-Soprano and Whitney Houston went from a Spinto-Soprano to a Mezzo as well. I can understand a person changing their tessitura whether it be b/c of bad technique or drug abuse, but would they change their passagi as well? && if possible, would a Mezzo be able to become a Soprano? Just wondering ^^ thanks!!
Health habits can influence one’s voice type. Honestly I am not sure what Christina’s voice type is because her voice is so damaged. She sounds like a soprano when she talks, but she sings like a mezzo, but then she seemed more soprano-like earlier in her career. Whitney Houston’s voice type change had to do with drug abuse. As far as I know, voice type can change with age, let’s say not 30’s or 40’s but when you reach your 60’s, it’s possible that your vocal cords thicken and your voice becomes lower since your body is aging, this can happen to healthy vocalists as well. A mezzo becoming a soprano, this can happen when the voice is still maturing. It’s not common, but through puberty one’s voice can change and become lower or higher.
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Women’s voices naturally deepen and even darken as they age. It is also possible to be inbetween voice types. So a woman might be more comfortable singing in a lower classification and stick to that.
Mezzo-sopranos are the middle voice in-between contralto and Soprano. However they have more in common with contraltos in that their head voices do not naturally extend to C6 (the famous Soprano high note). Their voices are naturally richer, darker and more chesty than that of the Soprano. The Mezzo-sopranos is the most common voice type for women and they have a lovely range of high and low notes. Their low notes naturally have more depth and weight to them compared to a standard Soprano. And yes Mezzo-sopranos can sing as high as Sopranos do but it is not comfortable for them to do so for long periods of time and it takes extensive training to reach extreme highs. The power core for all Alto singers is in their chest register; their head voices are weak in comparison. The opposite is true for Soprano ladies–they sound much clearer and stronger when utilizing their mixed chest and head register (around the fourth octave). They are noted for having very long extended middle registers.
Contraltos naturally have a very long extended chest register so their singing is extra rich, heavy and dark compared to other voice types. They can spend so much more time in chest register before they need to use head voice they can be confused with men. Contraltos are known have bigger voices in general with particularly weighty chest voice. East Asians however, tend to be petite, not just in stature but in voice too. I can’t think of one Asian dramatic singer. Not a one! Sigh.
Why do Asian singers have more ‘petite’ voices and black singers have such ‘dramatic’ and dubbed ‘soulful’ voices? Is it due to genetics, phenotype etc.?
I have a question. I am taking vocal lessons since a few months. When I began, I couldn’t sing in head voice: My lowest note was F3 and my highest was B4. After some weeks, I learnt how to sing with my head voice and could sing until A5. I asked my vocal teacher what my voice type was and she said she was not sure and I noticed her looking for my passagio between chest and head voice. I am pretty sure my passagio is between E4 and C5. My voice becomes lighter (less chesty?) starting at F4.
Well, my question is if you can tell me what my voice type is >.<
Unfortunately dear, without hearing you I can’t tell. Trust your instructor and wait for your voice to develop/mature first. ^ ^
Okay thank you 😀
You are some kind of Alto (mezzo/contralto)! Congrats! You naturally have a low voice. If your passagio is higher you would be a Contralto at exactly F4. Contraltos can safely delay using head and belt G4 in pure chest voice (see Lila Downs). According to rumors on the internet, dramatic contraltos can even keep that going even at Ab4!!! They are the only voice type that can take their chest voices up that high naturally. Others cannot. In fact it would be downright detrimental to the voice.
I’m a k-pop fan, and I’m also a crazy fan of pentatonix.I remember that you mentioned Mitch Grassi in your article.And could you analyze their vocal skill,and their levels? Thank you
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We don’t analyze non Kpop vocalists I’m afraid.
hi friends…pleas I need your help I am doing my best and so tired of my support problem. …Every time I heard myself and on record I can hear myself taking breath I have serious supporting problems…since I got horrible tone I thought the only thingwho can save me is a good techniques…then end up having having problems with the basic of singing….pleas my friends any help to learn how to support..
pleas my friends can I know your opinion about
he really express what I feel
Dear, I am sorry but you’re thinking about it all wrong. You don’t have a terrible tone. Your true voice is not coming out because there is too much going on that’s wrong on in your singing. Your throat has tension, you close your upper throat when singing higher and you either try too hard to pull your chest voice very high or you switch into a really shouty and thin mixed voice. The thing about support is that it is quite simple, however the muscles do have to be trained to an extent so that you know how to manipulate air more freely, however the most important muscles after that are the throat muscles. The weak vocalists on this blog are basically singing with 100% tension throughout most of their range, which is why they’re said not to support right. They use too much throat, like you do. However teaching support takes control, teaching someone to let go of tension has to do with singing softly but connected so that you exercise your muscles properly. It’s not something I can teach you by writing you a message, I need to be able to do a lesson with you. I need to monitor your singing, fix what you’re doing wrong and work on what you’re doing right. If I can’t hear you, I can’t fix everything and a written message is not going to help you enough. I am so sorry and this really frustrates me, not to be able to help you more.
honestly…I am saying this with tear in my eyes…I swear no matter how I thank you it won’t be enough at all you helped more than you can imagine..you believed in me and believed that I had chance to improve and achieve my dreams that’s all I ever want…Thank you so much Thank thank thank you..I will work harder than ever… 🙂
pleas do you think love me like you do by ellie Golding is a good song for someone like me to start with
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Actually sure it’s a reasonable range!
It’d be interesting to see a study of the distribution of voice types among the general population. Someone else I spoke with also mentioned that it seemed to vary by geography (ie some places in the world seem to have more higher voices in their population, other places seem to have more lower voices in their population). What would you say is the percentage breakdown of voice types?
I honestly have no idea. As far as I know soprano is the most common female voice type and baritone is the most common male one. I can’t say I disagree, but to put a number would be hard. I know that finding basses and contraltos is hard.
Here was a discussion on why “real” contraltos are rare: https://www.reddit.com/r/singing/comments/3qxujy/what_is_a_true_contralto_and_why_are_they_so_rare/
Partly because the contralto category has much more specific criteria for it than the soprano category, which has a whole bunch of subtypes–soprano is such a big category, there’s so much intratype variation.
It seems that the lower or bigger (dramatic) you go, the more “specific” the criteria seems to be, right?
Singing low is not a rare ability, but it’s having that volume and power down there that sets contraltos and basses apart from the other voice types.
This lady would be considered a current contralto artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Em80GzksQ
She’s really low, like baritonal; she shocked the judges.
As for percentages, I’d say for women:
50 – 60 % sopranos
38 – 48 % mezzos
1 – 2 % contraltos
As for men I’d guess:
25 – 30 % tenors
60 – 65 % baritones (including bass-baritones in this category)
10 – 15 % basses
But these numbers are all my guesses.
Hey, this is quite a random question, but which Korean singer would you say is just as good of a vocalist as Beyoncé (if there is one). Is Wendy from Red Velvet up to par with her? If that was really stupid I am very sorry, I’m still new to the whole “Vocal analysis” scene.
Sohyang? That’s all we can think of. No.. Wendy is not anywhere close. No idol is. Try reading their analyses! ^ ^
Hello! If you have time, could you tell me how my singing is here? Am I being too airy when I mix and too “creaky” when I sing lower?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f16Rq76hfc Bflat4s – This is the most relaxed I’ve been above A4 ever (still not relaxed though), and I forgot the lyrics ._.
Oh honey you sent me 30 second audios, you’re so blessed. Thank you. lol 0:17 careful not to exhale too much air when you sing H’s, because it sounds a bit too pushed. It made you go slightly flat. Also the F#3’s, place them higher, you’re creating a really large change in placement where your mix is a bit too low placed but then the chest voice is REALLY low placed so then you sound like you have two different voices. Place the lower chest voice a bit higher, try smiling a little, keep the sound light and bright. You can project even if you make your sound brighter cause you got the muscles developed in that lower range. Make sure you drop your jaw and kind of raise your eyebrows when you sing higher as well, like “Fly me to the moon” in the beginning, make sure you stay still and enunciate.
For Sweet Dreams same thing, smile. The sound is too dark, you sound like Lee Hi when she sings low. There’s support but then there’s a huge disparity in how she places her sound in her mix and her lower range. She wants to sound like a woman in her lower range but then like a soprano in her mix, so find a natural placement. So try smiling, try a bit brighter.
Try singing the Bb4’s in And One in a neutral Bah sound, a mix of a sheep and a baby. Like when babies go very softly bah bah bah. That’s what I want you to do, okay? Go softly and sing soft bah’s for the melody, place your sound high and forward. Keep it in the mask and don’t try to pull chest or to place your sound full on in the head, nor use falsetto. Keep it in your mouth, okay? Cause you’re challenging yourself and you have been changing your technique, so keep it up. You are already much lighter than you were before now it’s a matter of developing the muscles on the light onset.
Is placing my voice too low unhealthy? Could Lee Hi be a soprano like me? Anyways thank you, you’re so helpful TT_TT I will try bahing when no one can hear me
Isn’t Toni Braxton a contralto?
Arguably she is a mezzo-soprano who pushes her larynx down.
Umm Hi 😀 Would you mind listening to a clip of me singing? Maybe give me tips? is there anyway I could email it to you? I’m not very comfortable posting it for the public to see. Thank you! Its alright if you don’t have the time.
My email is on my YouTube page~
Hi ahmin, I just wanted to leave short questions (I’m trying to keep them shorter because I keep your busier schedule in mind). I was thinking that where a person mixes or starts mixing determines their voice type. I’ve read many of your analyses and you reference this a lot. I often saw you say ”Lyric baritones start mixing at Bb3/B3 and Lyric tenors at D4/Eb4”. My questions are:
Can a baritone be lyric if he mixes at A3? Can a tenor be lyric if he mixes at C#4 or C4? Or are they different voice types by default because they mix earlier in their range (or possibly later such as leggerio tenors)?
Actually the passaggio determines where the voice starts to naturally mix but just like a singer could sing in their head voice below their head voice passaggio and in their chest voice above their mixed voice passaggio, you can mix below and above your passaggi. In other words, even though a baritone’s passaggio may happen at B3, they could still mix below that. What determines the voice type is where the mixing naturally starts. So if they mix that early because of their passaggio and not because they’ve taught themselves to mix lower, then they’re not lyrics.
How do you feel about Anna Kendrick?
She’s a decent vocalist with good enough pitch.
Hello ahmin 👐🏻 Can you give me a link to the best way of controlling the larynx ? I have Been trying to improve my singing issues and I’m doing better on everything except controlling the larynx especially high my C5 have never been supported.
Have you watched our tips videos? Especially the one about supporting and the one about singing high notes?
No is it on your YouTube channel ?? I’d love to know
Yes, indeed it is on my youtube channel. They’re also posted here under the category “Vocal Tips for K-pop Fans” indeed.
Hello, admin. You mentioned Mitch Grassi in this article, would it be possible for you to analyze his vocal? I can’t find even one vocal analysis of him (only vocal range but not vocal analysis).
We don’t analyze non-kpop vocalists.
I’m a musical theater major with a range from C3-D6, with a very light and Disney princess-esque upper range (head voice E5 and up), and a warm and deep lower range (A4 and down is my chest voice). I can sing many tenor songs with ease- my middle range is almost exactly the same as Adam Levine’s in Won’t Be Soon Before Long (A4 to C5 ish). Teachers have trouble typing me and of course, don’t want me to label myself in a way that limits me. I’ve recently been researching the dugazon voice and believe it’s the type closest to the qualities of my voice and range. Do you have any thoughts on dugazon singers? I saw you listed a falcon in this article but wanted to know if you had any interesting anecdotes or facts on dugazons and the specifics of their voice type. Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
You know every comment that you write you start with “I’m a musical theater major” lol I find that kind of funny in a good way. Anyway so with that range, you’re not sure of your voice type. See the thing is…talking about voice types, there is a lot that’s left to be unknown because race mixing wasn’t so big back then when voice types were made. They were limited in terms of physiology. Not only that, they were trained in a classical way. The way we sing in contemporary singing, including musical theater, can make a baritone sound like a thick tenor, or a high tenor sound like a low tenor, or a mezzo sound like a soprano, or a soprano sound like a mezzo simply because the technique is different and we often emulate vocalists with other voices, other than our own. These habits of trying to sound someone we’re not make voice typing very tricky in contemporary singing, with that in mind the concept of hybrid voices is relatively new and not fully accepted amongst all scholars. I think many strictly classical people resist these dugazon, falcon, etc voice types as not being actual real voice types. So honestly that’s what I think, that it’s hard to voice type someone nowadays compared to before and with these new concepts coming about, I think there’s a lot left to be learned about singing still.
Hello! Thank you for making this blog. I just recently discovered it. Haha. I really loved your vocal analysis of IU and BTS members. I thought Jungkook was better than V but it was just because the BTS songs are not in the key that he’s most comfortable in. I though IU was an excellent vocalist too, but I was wrong. Haha. I really learned a lot from here and the way you created posts that explains the terminologies are great too!
I’m an alto (F3-D5) and it’s very sad that I can’t sing high notes T_T
Anyway, have you listened to IU’s new song Through The Night? It’s really awesome~ Thanks again for this blog. I’m planning on taking voice lessons soon haha. I’m already 21 though. I hope it’s not too late for me yet. Hehe~
By the way, I have 2 questions: Are there Kpop singers that are in the same range as me?And is it too late for me to take voice lessons now that I’m 21? Thank you! 🙂
I’m very sure that it’s possible you might be an untrained soprano who’s trained herself to think that she can’t sing high. Actually alto isn’t a voice type, it’s a choir part. A contralto is a rare voice type only very low-voiced women have, women who literally sound androgynous and almost sound manly. Most “altos” in pop music are actually mezzo sopranos like Adele, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Sara Bareilles, P!nk, etc. 21 is definitely not too late for vocal lessons! F3 is too high for it to be the end of your range and if you were anything but a soprano, you’d be able to sing much lower as your voice would be placed lower. I’m 100% sure you’re most likely a soprano, but I could be wrong until I actually hear you sing. So I guess I already answered both of your questions without intending to, as I had not read the last paragraph before I wrote this lol It is not too late and without hearing you sing, I can’t be sure of your voice type but unless you sound actually manly, it is very unlikely you’re a contralto. If you’re a mezzo, we have mezzos like In sooni, Lee Sora, Ann, Kim Boa, Hani, etc.
WOOOW Thank you so much for helping me out. You’re so nice huhuhu. I really want to be able to sing IU’s through the night but I feel like it’s kinda out of my vocal range but I’m not sure. Can you help me find out? I recorded myself singing it using the app everysing (hahahaha I hope you don’t mind, I didn’t use any reverb though :D) I’m really shy about singing hehe. By the way, I really hope I don’t hurt your ears. I only sang until the chorus. Please make sure to lower the volume before the chorus haha it’s a bit hard for me to sing that part. I just want to know if I’ll be able to handle singing it without straining my voice. I really, really, really love this song and I want to sing it so bad but if you think that I won’t be able to handle it, I will accept my fate. Haha.
P.S. I am sorry for singing out of tune especially at the last part. I tried recording again and again but my throat’s a little bit raspy(?) now. And I don’t also know how to identify if I’m singing though my diaphragm (I’m pretty sure I’m not because my throat hurts a bit after singing a few songs) and if I’m using my head or chest voice. I only refer to them as my “normal singing voice” and falsetto. Haha. Sorry if I sound stupid… I really want to improve my singing. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU ARE SO KIND.
Here’s the link~
P.P.S. I apologize in advance, I feel pressured sending you the video and letting you hear me sing because you are already an expert in this field and some of the people who asked for your help are trained T_T Thanks again in advance for your help! 🙂
P.P.P.S. Don’t forget to lower the volume before the chorus haha (the chorus was hard to sing) I hope I don’t sound too bad hehe. Thank you (again haha)!
There is no such thing as not being able to sing a song! Perhaps you can’t sing it YET, perhaps it is too much of a challenge for you RIGHT NOW, but to say you can’t sing it PERIOD? That’s completely false. Singing comes from you and it takes time but there is no song that is impossible to sing if you practice. Perhaps even the key would need to be changed or any other adjustments would need to be made. Anything is possible to adjust a song to your current skill level and YOUR voice. Because your voice is NOT IU’s voice, and that’s perfectly fine. You’re not stupid btw. Most of the people who ask for help here on the blog aren’t trained actually, so don’t worry. I’m used to hearing a lot of very different stuff. haha
Oh honey you sound so pretty and cute! You obviously sound like a very shy person, but you shouldn’t be! Your pitch is really not that bad, you are definitely not tone deaf. You’re singing the melody just fine, you know it and you can sing it through. The problem is that you’re whispering the whole time. Your vocal cords are barely coming together, so you sound very soft and airy throughout. You aren’t really stretching or connecting your vocal cords properly at all throughout. You need to work on proper vocal cord stretch and proper breath support, watch the vocal tips for K-pop fans #8 and work on the exercises there. Also REALLY make sure you don’t sing “Ha” or even use H’s, because you’re so airy that I feel you’d start doing it by mistake. Don’t be airy, really fight the airiness. Don’t whisper. It’s so cute but kind of sad that you think the chorus was loud, it isn’t. You’re that shy that to you that amount of volume is too much and trust me, it isn’t. You’re straining, your larynx isn’t neutral, you’re tight and you’re singing B4’s. But you’re not loud, your voice is soft and because your vocal cords aren’t trained enough, to YOU this might be very loud cause you’re used to hearing yourself singing and speaking softly, but let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of volume, the beginning is like 1.5 and the chorus is like 5 or 6. It is louder, but not loud necessarily. You are completely psyching yourself out, you don’t need to be so self conscious at all. But you need to start working from the basics with proper vocal cord connection and stretch, cause right now your vocal cords are too underdeveloped. Which is WHY your range is so narrow, but you’re not a contralto, let alone an “alto.” You sound like a very untrained soprano, which is very common.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING ME. T_T
You are probably the kindest and the most helpful person I’ve talked to on the internet. I will keep in mind all the advice you gave me. I really love IU’s voice and I try to imitate it sometimes… Like the “airiness” haha. I thought it was a good thing, haha. Anyway, thank you again. You’re so kind. T_T Music really means a lot to me.Now that I’ll be working soon, I’ll be able to take voice lessons and improve my singing.
Thank you very much for your help. I don’t know what else to say, haha. But I really hope you know hot grateful I am. You really changed my perception on my voice.
THANK YOU! I keep repeating this but I really am VERY VERY thankful!
But seriously, I am so overwhelmed right now so I can only say thanks haha. THANK YOU~
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I tried to post this comment on another section, if you saw it, I apologize for posting this comment again.
Hello. I hope you are well ^_^.
So, I was wondering about contraltos (when you are randomly studying vocal technique >_< ), and I found a video about non classic contraltos. In there was a KOREAN SINGER (from the 70s, but, I don't know how much active she is these days) so, I found some of her videos, and to be fair, I think she is indeed a contralto (you can not always believe in what you see on Internet, and some cases youtube), THEN I´m gonna post these links:
SAME SONG DIFFERENT YEARS ((I think it is a great gap between them)
I think she has support, but I think she loses it when hitting the lowest notes (maybe because I don't see her open her mouth on those vowels and on those notes). Lately, I think she is more dramatic one, since her lowest are darker and more stable?, well, at least I tried :'(. Another think I saw was that her neck gets really tight when doing mixed notes (disclaimer, I can not identify notes by ear, not yet, but, in the third video at minute 0:46-0:47 you can see veins popping out on her neck, and some stressed tendons ) and when she breaths, she moves her chest up.
Well, I want to ask what do you think about her, if her technique is correct, what mistakes she is doing, and if you knew about her and I should be ashamed about myself for not have seen her already :D.
Thank you ^_^.
The thing is she sings in a very old school way. Old school singing often is done by placing the sound in the lower portion of the chest and the throat, it’s less bright than current styles of singing and thus due to lack of proper technique and development of the vocal cords, the sound can come off darker than their natural voices. She was singing a lot of C3’s in the second video. She had mixed C5’s in the first video. I have never heard of her actually. Our voices seem to drop as we get older, so it is possible her current voice may be closer to that of a contralto. But she does have the tendency to lower her larynx in the low notes, not project and lose the support. She is also throatier even around A4 in the third video, so currently she might be closer to a contralto but I don’t think she was originally a contralto. She seemed like a mezzo with improper technique. She is like Lee Sunhee, except Lee Sunhee has a better foundation of technique. Lee Sunhee comes off as a mezzo to some, but I’m sure she’s a soprano who places her sound too low. I honestly am not sure what her voice type is, but currently I wouldn’t say she’s a soprano. She could be a damaged aged mezzo.
Oh really, maybe that is why I felt her lower notes were weird. Thank you for your answer, and I can see why she is a mezzo. For what I have seen, a contralto is rare in korea, more on the kpop scene and generally on the music industry there, since there they are more into sopranos.
This blog has help me a lot to understand how to sing with proper technique and to have an objective point of view on vocalists in general, since I am not a kpop fan, I’m more into rock/metal but I don’t like those songs when they scream instead of sing hehe. Thank you again for your hard and amazing work.
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hey ahmin, i was checking out Tori Kelly in her latest video which is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzPQ61oYMtQ, im wondering what do you think about her voice here? I think she has a very connected register/? but that’s all i can say since im not a vocal coach or anything. especially the notes in 2:50. she has such a clean voice, is that right?
Dear this is not your first time commenting on this blog so you’re very well aware we don’t answer non Kpop related questions because we get multiple videos everyday, we don’t have time to answer video questions about vocalists we won’t analyze. I apologize.
Just wondering, is there a set age range where the voice becomes ‘mature’ (like mid-20s to 30s) or is it more dependent on the individual? (Sorry if this was already asked about, I didn’t see it in the previous comments)
Late 20’s to early thirties usually. It depends on one’s voice type.
What are the characteristics of a Coloratura? Why there isn’t a male Coloratura?
The male version of a coloratura is a leggero. They have connection throughout their registers as well as exceptional agility.
Is what she is saying correct? Do the exercises in the two videos help?
I’ve never heard anybody be able to tell me how to work on the whistle register before, this is the first video that I see that focuses on exercises for the whistle register. So I can’t really say she’s wrong, the first video is correct. Like she is saying things that I agree with yes. So the second video is like head voice exercises that should allow more flexibility to the voice to lighten up and thin out enough that you SHOULD be able to switch into a whistle eventually.
How does developing the head voice help developing the whistle? Also, does vocal nodules help? A Youtuber said that it helped him/her. Another one said that Mariah Carey had vocal nodules and she never removed it, and she is a true master of the whistle register.
I don’t think there’s enough research to prove nodules and the whistle register are linked together. However the muscles for head voice and the whistle aren’t too far apart, so I would assume that developing the head voice can ease the way into unlocking the muscles responsible for the whistle register.
Hey admins! I was wondering if it’s possible for a singer with a lower supported range to be more resonant than a singer who has a significantly higher supported range. For example, suppose we’re comparing two sopranos. One can support up to E5 in their mixed voice and resonates decently while the other soprano can only support up to C5 in their mixed voice but is very very resonant. Is this possible? If so, which is more important for determining who’s the better vocalist: resonance or support? (assuming their lower and upper registers are around the same)
It’s possible to an extent, but it really depends on the type and size of resonance. A chesty vocalist will have larger resonance on C5 than a headier vocalist, who might have more resonance on E5 and above. I would say if both can produce resonance and if both support, the size of resonance is less important to me personally than how well they support.
Ah okay that makes sense. I was wondering this because I assume broadway performers care more about the resonance and projection of their notes whereas singing in pop and kpop prioritizes how high and low you can support healthily… although I’m not sure that’s a good or accurate assumption to make lol. A lot of people would say (hypothetically) so-and-so broadway performer is a better vocalist than so-and-so pop singer because her D5s are more resonant and she can sustain long notes lol, but the pop singer can support up to like E5/F5. Would you say the same applies in this scenario – the fact that if both can produce resonance and if both support then how well they support is more important?
I’m not sure that’s true because in broadway, there’s singing with a microphone. The amplification of sound is mostly important in classical singing because they sing over an orchestra without a mic. Broadway isn’t so different from pop. I’ve never heard of such a scenario, it sounds kind of odd to me. I think if a vocalist has bigger resonance on D5, but strains Eb5, they can’t be the superior vocalist, even more so considering if they sing higher than D5 often and risk damaging their voices.
Hello! I came across this site for notes identification recently: https://tonescope.net/scope I’d like to use it for practice, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. What do you think?
It’s not very good. If I play the piano, it identifies the note perfectly. But if I sing the note, it completely goes off pitch or it gets the octave wrong. I was singing C4’s, it kept going C4 C5 and vibrato confuses it.
Try this one instead.
Thank you! I will check it out.
Do full lyric tenors need to have darker voices and lyric tenors have brighter voices? Like Jung Dongha and Park Hyoshin all have darker sounding voices. I was wondering about artists with volume outputs a bit bigger than light lyrics (but no way spinto or dramatic lol) but brighter sound that isn’t as round.
Michael Lee Aday
Masayuki Sakamoto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV0TqJ8elsc
(Sorry these examples are not Korean, I mean if I wanted to know if a Korean artists is full-lyric tenor I’ll just wait for your analysis *wink*) They all different voices and weights, all sound less dark than the full lyric tenors listed on this site but to me, they have voices as big or bigger. Meatloaf has the biggest voice, followed by Freddie, Sakamoto, then John Denver. I’m not comfortable counting them as LLT since their voices are definitely bigger and has more weight than most LLT, but the color is bright.
I was wondering if bright/dark thing used to classify is just a matter of placement rather than actual vocal quality, or if I’m confusing those elements altogether.
You hae to take into consideration technical issues being a thing as well. I’m sorry but this classifies as a non-kpop question. The bright/dark thing can be to do with placement yes, since Park Hyoshin does place his sound in a bright place most of the time.
Hi! If you don’t mind, can you tell me the general passagio for light lyric sopranos and mezzo sopranos?
I’ve heard conflicting informations for this question so honestly I’m not sure.
Hi Ahmin! I recently commented here but i forgot where it was, Lol. I have a new question tho, so its okay. I want to sing with support, especially in my lower reg because you said that it is airy and my vocal cords doesnt connect at all, so i’ve been searching the reason why it doesnt but .. do you have any tips to strengthen our vocal cords in lower,mix,and head register? If i strengthen my cords, does that mean i will be able to support notes well?
Have you seen the vocal tips videos on my youtube channel? ._. Yes it does mean you’ll support them, or be on the way to support them.
Sorry, I haven’t. Actually, I have, in some way but I got distracted with your skin, lol😂 It’s just really clean and possibly brighter than my future. Lmao😂😂 Sorry, I’ll try to watch them and not be distracted by your face then😂😂 Thankyou
POSSIBLY BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL Thanks? I am flattered even though it’s not much to be distracted by. Focus!
LOL, your welcome. Just a quick question, is it past midnight now in wherever you live? Cause in mine, it’s already noon. I look at the time in this blog it states 12am, so im sorry if you have to reply to my silly comments this late. Im really overwhelm by your effort for this blog to still reply to people as fast as you can. you have a kind heart reallyy.. ^^ I guess the least we all can do is support you guys who made this blog possible. Just want to say my gratitude haha,너무감사합니다 ❤
Hi Ahmin! I dont understand the part “Lyric Coloratura Soprano(Arguable term in Contemporary music): Mariah Carey during her prime.” as if she’s not that voice type anymore now, can you explain?
The term itself is so arguable using it in contemporary music is dangerous, that’s why we are extra careful. That’s all.
I meant, is it possible someone voice type change as they get older?
Sure, it is.
Hi, I know it’s not k-pop related, but here is one female japanese singer, named lyrico(露崎春女), who is not famous, so maybe you haven’t heard her singing? I want to ask, technical-wise, anything about her is different from other j-pop singers? like can she support, her placement, whether she’s narsal, etc. ‘cos I really want to know, since you said non of j-pop singers exceed above average, is there a very slight chance that she might be an exception? here are two videos:
and another girl 小柳ゆき:
any chance that maybe one of these two, might be slightly better than other j-pop singers?
Thanks in advance!
I am so sorry but we don’t answer video questions unrelated to vocalists we’d analyze in the future.
I hope you’re feeling better from that sickness you had. I wanted to ask you two quick and easy questions.
1) Is the lowest note I can produce in the morning part of my vocal range? In the morning, you can hit lower notes because the vocal cords are overly relaxed, but I’m not sure if they are part of your vocal range.
2) Why are the defined voice types gone? I don’t see Full Lyric on PHS or Lyric Baritone in V’s analysis, why did they have to be removed? P.S. I learned SO MUCH from those. So thank you.
Thank you in advance!!! >3
Sure dear. Thank you btw, I do feel better even the cough isn’t fully gone yet.
1. I wouldn’t personally count the lowest note I can hit in the morning as part of my vocal cord because our vocal cords are thicker in the morning and so it’s not a note we can hit anytime we want. It’s more so than relaxed, they’re thicker because of no use. I mean sometimes I can hit B1 in the morning and I do not count that as part of my range.
2. Because voice types are something we can be sure of, but specific sub-fachs become a little trickier and less specific. I am not so sure we can identify voice types that specifically in pop music if they’re not taught to sing in a classical way and honestly, it’s only guess work when it gets that specific. Plus, it’s not necessary for the analyses anyway.
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I’m new to this page, and so far, I think it’s one of, if not, the best vocal analysis page on the internet. I really want to thank you and the team for giving us so much information and knowledge regarding the voice! (It’s a shame that I can’t find a US/UK vocal analysis page that is as decent as this 😛 )
Anyway, I like idols or singers with huge voice like SoHyang, Ailee, Lina (The Grace), etc (although I’m relatively new to K-Pop in general). I notice that a lot of them can do such amazing runs and melisma, like for example, Lena Park, but what makes them different from that of a Coloratura Soprano like Mariah Carey? I know you don’t like answering non K-pop but this is the only way that I can express my question, I’m sorry 😦
Also, is there such thing as a leggiero baritone? I notice for female singers, the term coloratura can be applied to all three soprano, mezzo and contralto, but so far, I have only heard of leggiero tenor as a very agile tenor. I’m a guy and I have been a self taught student for a little more than a year(can’t call myself a vocalist yet haha) and I’m going to take vocal lesson in college soon so I’m very excited and have so many questions. This page has been such a great experience for me so far!
I’m sorry if this is too long, but I just have to comment because I love this page so much and you guys are awesome! Much love and I hope this page continue to grow ❤
Hi there! Awww thank you so much you’re so sweet with your comments! ^ ^ Woo dear careful there. See we don’t use the term coloratura in pop, we put a disclaimer that it is an arguable term in contemporary music. Being good at runs isn’t being a coloratura. Coloratura requires a special kind of connection throughout their registers and a very advanced agility that expands all over their range. They could jump up and down two octaves and dance around those two octaves in like one run. Being somewhat good at runs like Ailee or Yerin is not nearly enough. Coloratura is a specific voice type more than it is anything else as far as I am aware. I could be wrong actually. Again all of these terms are very classical and very arguable in pop music, which is why we’re straying away from using them. So understand that many of them may not be applicable nor relevant in pop music, which is why we’ve moved to just calling vocalists sopranos or baritones, instead of sub-types of those voice types. I hope that makes sense and that I was able to answer your questions effectively. ^ ^ Thank you so so much again!
Thank you Ahmin! Yes, that’s pretty much all I want to know haha. So many videos on Youtube that I watched explained how it is okay to sub-categorize the singers and most of them are so messy in the comment section lol. This page has helped me a lot in terms of knowledge with the analysis. How much time does it usually take for you to fully analyze a singer? Oh, and are there going to be more veteran vocalists’ analysis in the future? I can’t wait to see who’s next!
I hope one day I can get up the nerves to show you my singing 😛 I really love those head voice and falsetto videos that you made, especially with the lesson for the head voice! Oh the team totally deserves all the good comments!! ❤
P.S: You're not arrogant in the way you communicate, don't worry about that comment in the Lee Sun Hee's thread 😀
It really depends how much available time I have. I need to have enough time to watch between 20 and 30 solo performances live during their careers, so however long that takes is the first step. Then after that, the writing generally takes me less than an hour and the editing for links around another hour. So it depends really. lol Yeah of course, I only have veterans planned for the time being. I’ll go back to idols closer to the end of the year or once I’m done with a few more specific veterans. Awww thanks for all of your compliments, love and support. I deeply appreciate it! Aww and thank you again, I’m so glad to know! ^ ^;
Hello! I’d like to say thanks because of you I’ve come to appreciate the human voice and I fell down this hole and became really intrigued in the vocal pedagogy to the point where I’m interested in improving myself. I have trouble controlling my breath e.g – I struggle to sustain for more than 5 seconds notes coz’ I just run out of breath and I don’t know when I should breathe between notes so sometimes I awkwardly swallow a huge chunk of air (like I’m drowning lmao) before singing a note. My goal is to use dynamics in singing (e.g crescendo, pianissimo) but I know I can’t do that if I can’t even sustain long hahaha. Do you have any tips/exercises which can help me improve my breath control? Thank you once again!
Hi dear! I’m so glad to hear!! Have you seen the vocal tips for Kpop fans series?
Hi . Ahmin . How can I know that I am baritone or tenor ? and How can people develop their chest and mixed voice ?
The answer to your second question is neither simple nor short. Actually both questions have been answered in videos of mine. Have you tried watching the debunking Kpop vocal myths about baritones? And my videos about support and lower range?
Hi ahmin, which kpop vocalists (male & female) do you think have the most polished phrasing techniques in the higher octaves? Thanks.
Sohyang, Son Seungyeon and…mhmm Kyuhyun? Naul. Park Hyoshin.
Shouldn’t Lena Park be one of them, considering her supported high range and vocal agility?
No, she’s not consistently supported and her agility can be dodgy.
I have two questions about vocal pedagogy.
1. Can’t placement also be adjusted to various parts of the head and not just in the chest and mask, or did my choir teacher teach me incorrectly?
2. How can I improve my lower range? I can support down to G3 at most, and I keep tone down to D3 without using vocal fry.
1. If something in this article says otherwise, it’s because neither of us two wrote this post so I apologize. Yes it can also happen in various parts of the head.
2. I can’t tell you unfortunately without listening to you.
Okay, here’s my cover of Kesha’s “Praying.” As you can hear in the link, I barely support the lower I go into the 3rd octave. How could I better support those notes the farther I go into the 3rd octave?
Thank you very much for sharing your singing with me! This helps me hear what’s going on a lot better. So you said down to G3 that you were comfortable and had support and had tone down to D3, without vocal fry. I’d say support down to G3 is inconsistent, and you seem to push your larynx down starting on G3. 1:22 This is mostly a low larynx, pushed down and not allowing openness nor support to be used. I’d say the biggest issues are breathiness and that you don’t really drop your jaw when you sing. You’re barely opening your mouth or enunciating clearly. I’d encourage you to keep the sound more forward throughout, connect better as you get higher and in the lower notes, keep the sound in the mask and keep it lighter without going breathy. Don’t sing so heavy, you don’t need that much weight to sing below Bb3.
Thank you for your reply!
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How can I train myself to sing those lower notes in the 3rd octave without needing to lower my larynx? When I try to sing those notes without lowering my larynx, they are mostly just full of air, and that is not the sound that I want while singing in most cases. I want them to be audible, but not strained, if you know what I mean. That’s the question that I wanted to be answered. How can I find that happy light, yet non-breathy medium during those lower notes?
You’ve seen the video about developing the lower range right?
Hi Ahmim, can you please explain to me what is chest dominant mix, head dominant mix and balanced mix? Also how can I achieve proper balanced mix?
Which vocal register is in this clip?
It sounds like a whistle register, a very pushed whistle.
Thanks a lot for your reply.
How about this clip? Which vocal register is in this clip?
It’s a very very squeezed and pushed falsetto that turned into sort of more of a head voice.
This vocalist is transgender, and I’ve always thought about how the process changes the voice. She was on ICSYV. This vocalist however is by far the most interesting to me from a biological standpoint. I’ve a transgender friend, yet his voice retains most of its quality before the change, or it’s like a cross between a soprano and a tenor. However, this vocalist sounds very male in a part of his range and then very female, which I find fascinating. I did some research on this particular part of the subject. MtF, the voice tends to not be affected much, just a little higher, not as drastic as FtM. But here is the part that pertains to vocalizing:
Do you think this person is vocalizing in a different way for each part of the range, lowering larynx, raising it, using a bright vs. chesty mix, etc.? Or do you think she opted for actual vocal surgery that actually is designed to make the voice more feminine? I feel like this is a great topic for your potential students who may be transgender. By all means, please answer this when you have the time. I don’t mind waiting; also, this question is a bit unconventional.
Time Stamp: 1:00 and onwards, not the whole performance, just when she goes back and forth, enough for you to detect the change in quaity.
Hi dear. Yes I’ve seen this today and to me he is using different technique to sing in different parts of his range. He is using a much thicker chest with a lowered larynx for the male voice and then over exaggerating a higher larynx with a much lighter and brighter mix, also having taken possible female hormones aids in this much more than any other male. If you look on youtube, you’ll see many transgenders and such explaining how they cross dress and can change their voices, and how they practice to change them at all.
Thanks for answering my question. OMG!!! I pasted the wrong link, I saw it just now, I feel so embarrased. Yeah, I did look up a bit of info and the speech training stuff. I was just considering the possibility of her choosing the vocal cord thinning surgery to sound more feminine. But yeah, I really enjoyed your input, thanks for your time.
this new system is very cool and accurate… I am really impressed by the work you put!
keep it guys…
Can you please make a video where you explain each vocal type?
I had I mean there are 4 types of every main vocal type lol
You mean like literally every voice type? I’m afraid I cannot actually. I can safely admit I do not have enough knowledge of each sub-type of voice types in the classical sense to talk about it as I’m more of a contemporary vocalist and trainer than anything else. So I’m sorry!
Hi, Ahmin! Is there any basses in kpop? I’m pretty sure there isn’t.
The only bass I know of is Kim Bum rae.
Hi my friend once told me that my voice type was Soprano Sfogato but when I see here there’s no Soprano Sfogato here. I can sing low like Cher but at the same time I can belt my favorite Mariah Carey’s song Anytime You Need A Friend. My favorite artists is ofc Legendary Mariah Carey & Taeyeon 💕
How can I sing high notes while lifting the soft palate? Doesn’t it prevent the air to flow into the nasal cavity?
Or is it that I need to loft I on the chest voice only?
Just wondering. . . Is MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul a mezzo-soprano or a contralto? I’m pretty sure that she has a lower tessitura than Solar, Wheein, and Hwasa, who are all sopranos, but I’m not sure how low it is. Her voice kind of reminds me of Annie Lennox, so that’s why I am asking this. Here are some clips of her singing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YZJvS55iRQ (singing and rapping here)
I meant to replace the third link with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diwrEUG6gBg&t=0s&index=14&list=PLhIQLT67Gs_oF4_0RiBj9R0iTE8GzsQCV
I accidentally put “In My Room” twice. I’m sorry about that.
Hi , ahmin! What is the voice type of T.O.P from bigbang? Is he has a low bass voice? I see it is said that he has a low bass voice but you said in a comment you don’t know any bass in kpop except kim bum are, please answer me, thank you
he is a baritone, ez –_–
Hope you’re having a great day
Can i ask some questions regarding my singing technique
1. My nose tends to get congested whenever i sing kinda high. Do you know why?
2. What do you think about my technique in this cover of Davichi – 8282
3. Do you think i am a baritone?
Here is the link of the cover
I hope you can answer it
Thanks in advance