About & Our Criteria




Vocal Analyses

This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. Thank you.


This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussion are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here are talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.


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

Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound maye still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Hyorin, is able to keep resonant consistently up until E5 or F5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to F#3/G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.



Excellent Vocalist

  • All three registers are developed
  • Supported as close as possible from their highest to lowest extremities
  • Within their Voice Type’s tessitura they are consistently resonant
  • Complete support in the middle register and lower register
  • For females head voice must be completely resonant at will; for males falsetto must be completely supported
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks when transitions are being made
  • Ability to do agile runs at decent speeds
  • Musicianship the ability to change a song and make it their own and Musicality having complete control over the voice in any given genre
  • Almost perfect intonation
  • Tonality is almost never lost



  • Developed registers, but one register may be lacking in development.
  • Optimal resonance is achieved on a regular basis.
  • Supported is present in all registers, but maybe not to their lowest and highest extremes
  • Within in their voice type’s tessitura they are resonant and well projected, but not as resonant and well projected as Excellent vocalist
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks
  • Agility is present
  • Great interpretation skills (Musicianship), but Musicality may not be as finely tuned as Excellent vocalist
  • Intonation is almost perfect
  • Tonality is almost never lost


  • One very well developed register or two well developed registers, with the others either being Average or Above Average
  • Optimal Resonance often, but at times is not always achieved
  • Within their vocal type’s tessitura they are resonant and supported, but tonality can be lost at times.
  • Connection between registers is not always present
  • Some agility, but runs and transitions are not always controlled
  • Interpretation skills are present, has show musicality
  • Good intonation rarely goes off
  • At times can lose tonality by rarely does


  • One well developed or two/three somewhat developed register well balanced
  • Consistently supported within their supported range
  • Resonates at times, but optimal resonance is not a regular accurance
  • Connection between the registers is not present
  • Intonation is not perfect, off-key moments happen at times
  • Good tonality isn’t always kept, strain and tension are apparent at times

Above Average

  • One somewhat developed register with the others being average or weak
  • Inconsistent with resonance
  • Even in their supported range strain and tension can be present
  • Nasality can be present within the voice at times
  • Intonation issues can be frequent


  • No register is developed considerably well
  • Inconsistent with support, and if at all resonance, even if occasional resonance has happened
  • Good tonality is not present at all times, nasal placement is normally used
  • Frequent intonation issues


  • No developed registers
  • Very inconsistent with support, strain,no resonance
  • Good tonality is not present
  • Out off tune singing is frequent


  • No support, not a vocalist basically

FYI, Among KPOP idols there is NO ONE who is considered Excellent/Amazing/Fantastic vocal-wise (Imagine Maria Callas, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as amazing/fantastic). They are Great/Good at best.

For further question you can ask the contributors directly at this forum

OneHallyu vocals’ thread



162 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

  1. I really enjoy your blog and I’ve been a fan since I first wanted to improve my singing. I’ve learned a lot about singing and of course the abilities of kpop stars which is really impressive! i have already recommended this blog to all my kpop loving friends. Love what you do!

  2. Ahmin, I have a question. I was sustaining notes with my chest voice from notes C#4-F4, then I felt a strong buzz in my chest and my vibrato is really rolling and even. Is it resonance or what?

    • I’m not sure bout the vibrato and the resonance Bcuz I didn’t hear if you were straining but if u felt the vibration in your chest then you were placing your voice well and using the right resonance chamber to project it .. Even with correct placement of air it’s possible for the throat to be tight and for you to strain though

      • Thanks :) I’ve been belting in full chest voice and I really struggle to find my mixed voice. How can I find it?

      • You have to do 2 things, one try to bring your head voice down with some exercises and make it blend better, then use lighter N based exercises such as Nah and Nehng and it will help you lighten up your mix while not switching into head voice

  3. Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this question but I’ve been curious as to whether or not Yonghwa’s “screaming” in these two videos have a name. What kind of technique is it?

    • I had no idea he could do that. That’s a very rock-y kinda thing, it’s a mixed voice belt that requires a lot of mask placement and mixing, he’s squeezing his throat a lot to do it actually and is straining but he’s getting the right rocky sound out of it and in a way, that’s the sound he’s going for. I’m not sure if there’s a name for it though.

      • Ahmin, thanks for the quick reply! Guess there isn’t really a name for it then, I haven’t had luck researching online either. Just curious, thanks for the information on how he does it though. You and your team do a great job, keep it up!

    • I’m not very sure of the name but i had inspired notably by people like the main vocalist of Steelheart, Lee Hyuk of Norazo & sometimes Noel’s Sung Kyu, to try it out the technique. Took me about 3 months to find the right position & placement to do the scream. I’m still at the primitive stage of trying out this technique but i felt like the shift from chest voice to mix & to head voice with added of correct little squeezing with throat actually does not hurt at all, only felt very breathless at the end of it..

    • I’m not sure if there are any in K-POP. Mezzos I mean. I’m sure there are but I’m not sure who. Well, Sonya she’s not really an idol singer but she’s a singer she seems to be competent I’ve only heard her sing a couple of times.

    • Because that’s not a musical term, it’s just an English word meaning someone who is able to deliver musically and technically the same way as often as possible, it just means consistent, or inconsistent. Do they sometimes sing well or are they consistently showing good technique. That’s all it is.

  4. Oh thanks
    and there is a thing I’ve been reading lately and it was concerned about that male singers can go to their highest extremity of their vocal range by falsetto and/or head voice
    but other articles say that they can only with head voice
    so what is the most common register to contain the highest notes of one male’s range
    PS : keep the hardwork <3

    • Ah usually comments go as under moderation before you do get to be like approved once, then you’ll just always be approved. It’s just a thing in the blog. Okay so basically head voice and falsetto essentially are produced similarly in the same part of the voice, but falsetto is also theoretically its own register where the vocal folds don’t touch completely and produce a thinner, less connected sound overall. But either way your highest note can come out in head voice or falsetto regardless of you being a girl or a guy or using either register. Also your placement questions, basically.. you have to listen for the tone, is it a nasal/closed tone? Is it a full thicker heavier tone? Is it a heavier lighter tone? Or is a full yet bright tone? That’s mixing + placement.

      @3:56 Eunji’s tone is slightly too thin and even in her mix a bit too light, it’s not nasal or anything it’s just heady. It’s a bit head placed and heady in terms of mix

      This one shows a fuller either more balanced mix or a chestier mix, but it’s mostly placed in her head, where it’s projecting like through her forehead in terms of the cavities she’s using to place the sound.

      Here Ailee @1:46 she belts and uses a chestier mix and more chest placed sound overall.

      Her sound here in the verse is just through her nose. It’s just like literally in her nose.

    • It’s right there, in the criteria… like did u read that part?
      Tonality/Tone Production
      The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

    • Again, that is in there. It’s the same as melismas, go on the last one and read “agility”. Here lemme copy-paste it for you “Agility
      Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.”

      • I read it of course
        but wherever I go people differenciate between mzelismas and vocal runs like they’re so different embelishments !

      • But that’s wrong, they’re the same thing, just different words. Many notes connected in a legato note over one sung vowel, that’s a vocal run, which is also a melisma.

  5. Hey! I was just wondering out of pure curiosity, who do you think the best group is? In terms of each members vocals, and the technique when they sing togehter. Something along the lines of that. No talking about stange pressence and whatnot. Boy and girl group? Also, what kind of style do you prefer listening to?

    • I personally prefer ballads, R&B, musical, pop. I believe the strongest male groups are SuJu KRY and 2AM and female are Davichi, 15&, BEG, SeeYa.

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