Hello everyone. This is a project I’ve had in my head for a while now and with 2020 on the horizon (and knowing that a great new bort was in works) I figured it was the right time to move forward. Now that the new bort is here I wanted to share what I’ve got. My hope is that we as a community can come together on a format that we like best for this concept. Once that’s done I can create a template for everyone to use (one that’s built for use with a single show). The imgur link below contains my initial drafts, ready to be refined (both in terms of accuracy and aesthetics).
Basically myself with the help of an excel superuser who would like to be credited as GuitarJazzer have created an excel spreadsheet that can relatively easily be used to map a live show. The listener has a number of different categories to choose from (Original, Vamp, Jam, Cover, etc) and with the granularity of 1sec is able to mark those points in a song, creating the visual as it goes. The spreadsheet runs entirely off conditional formatting. The data inputs required of the user are the following:
-Basics like Show Date, Venue Name, Location (City, ST)
-Specifics like Set Numbers, Track Names and Numbers
-Advanced specifics like exact second markers for the beginning of something
You’ll notice that my drafts incorporate a dual-line type thing where two different elements are on top of each other, and sort of blend into each other. This is because certain segments of a song are too split to classify as one specific category. The best examples of this are mid-jam covers, or the transitioning into and out of jams using elements of the original song. Speaking of categories, I feel those should be defined, and here’s how I’ve been proceeding:
Original: An Umphrey’s Song, played as per the studio recording (more or less), should a studio version exist.
Vamp: Improvisation over the backing song structure
Jam: Unique improvisation
Cover: Another artists song, as popularized by them (more or less)
Planned Jam: An element of an original song that is absent from the studio recording but is a frequent element in live renditions.
Banter/Noise: Crowd noise, band discussions/announcements, etc.
I welcome your feedback. I should also out myself and say that accuracy is a legitimate concern of mine as I haven’t been listening to live shows that long (long time fan but only got nugs in July, but since then I’ve listened to all 2018 and 19 shows), which is why I’d like to give this tool to the community, as I believe crowdsourcing this is the best way towards accuracy. I’d like to deploy the template by early 2020 for all to use so we can begin mapping shows going forward.
EDIT: To clarify “Planned Jam” further, think what is frequently the intros to In The Kitchen, Booth Love, and NtF. Also dub Mulche.