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GUEST WRITER: LYNDSEY HIGHLANDER’S WARM-UP SECRETS
Raised on a diet of Pat Benatar, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt but above all others, Patsy Cline, Lyndsey Highlander knows how to rock a Country tune and deliver a burnin’ live show. All the more reason to check out her thoughts on how to get ready to hit the stage full-speed.
Hey y’all! Country artist Lyndsey Highlander here! So preparing for a live show, to me, is not something that’s done immediately before showtime. It starts with healthy day-to-day habits. From my experience on the road and learning what works best for my vocal cords, I’ve created my own basic care for my voice. I’m a pretty bold vocalist with an energetic attitude! It takes a lot to keep me “show ready.” But it’s just a part of me.
Rise and Shine
I do my best to get at least seven hours of sleep. I use earplugs and an eye mask to create a quiet and peaceful atmosphere no matter where I am. I only have caffeine once a day, that ole morning cup of Joe. I guzzle 12 ounces of water upon waking up and drink about eight water bottles throughout the day. I keep my body energized with natural foods that keep me healthy from the inside out. I visit my specialist at Vanderbilt Voice Center 2x a month. We go over ways to strengthen my voice and blend the head voice and the chest voice. She drills me on ways to not overuse my energy onstage and ways to be sure I’m warmed up daily. So, that’s that!
On show day I don’t talk at all when I wake up. I contain my energy for most of the day. I do a 30-minute yoga workout (if the itinerary permits) to get my blood flowing. Then I take a shower and start with lip drills, cup bubbles, and hums. I will do these for 10 minutes while the bathroom is full of steam. I remain silent until I get to soundcheck. While the boys are unloading and setting up, I find a quiet place and do more drills. This time I use my full volume and try to go as high and as low as I can. After about eight minutes, I will lip bubble again to regain my mid voice for talking.
At soundcheck I will sing as if I was performing then and there. It gives me a good idea of how well I warmed up. My in ears are key to a good vocal performance! If everything runs smoothly I just relax afterwards. If it’s needed, I will warm up more after soundcheck.
The band and I eat the same preshow snacks that I always request on my rider: gluten-free rice crackers, hummus, fresh fruit, raw nuts and pineapple juice! Sometimes I will have one glass of white wine. It depends on how stressful the day has been! Hahaha
A secret I learned from another vocal instructor of mine is to mix water and pineapple juice, half and half. I keep it onstage with me. It hydrates far more than just water and the acidity keeps the junk off your cords.
The most important thing I do before each show is to have a few minutes with The Lord. I thank Him for my gift, the opportunity to perform, my band, the people working with me, and I give the show to Him! I make sure that I relax, take my time and have a blast!!!! It’s time to rock out.
There it is!! I hope you find this helpful! It really is so important to treat your body and your vocal chords just like an instrument. Keep it all unharmed, warmed up, and presentable!
Check out the video below, where Phil Vassar joins Lyndsey Highlander for some fashion tips on tour!
Also, here is Lyndsey’s video for her song, “Hard Work”:
CMA Members: The April/May 2014 issue of CMA Close Up will offer more tips on how some of today’s young artists get ready to perform.
Top photo: Lyndsey Highlander performs the national anthem at the CMA Music Festival Block Party at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on Wednesday, June 5 in Downtown Nashville during the 2013 CMA Music Festival. By John Russell / CMA