Upbeat vs Pickup
Upbeat and pickup are terms concerning music and musical notes. While the two may be similar in definition there are things that make them different from one another. Also, pickup may mean a whole different thing, however it is also related to music.
An upbeat can mean one of two things. First, it can mean an unaccented beat or beats that occur before the first beat of the next measure. It basically signifies the end of one measure, and the start of the next. Or, it can also mean a note or series of notes that comes before the first bar-line of a piece, and in that sense we can also call it the upbeat figure or, more appropriately, anacrusis.
An anacrusis is the, collectively speaking, lead-in syllables that come before the first full measure or it can be the series of notes that comes before the first downward beat in a bar. If you mean the latter, then it can be called a pickup or pickup beat. A pickup is also a device that captures mechanical vibrations from a guitar and converts it into sound to record, amplify or broadcast.
Difference between Upbeat and Pickup
In terms of music, the upbeat and pickup can mean the same thing. They both mean a series of beats that precedes a measure, and they are also the beat that comes before a downward beat. However, a pickup does not necessarily mean the end of a measure. A piece of music that starts with a pickup, or anacrusis, usually ends before the last beat of the last bar, just to keep the number of bars in the entire piece a whole number. A pickup can also mean the mechanical device found in electric guitars, and other electric string instruments, that picks up the vibrations from strumming and converts it to sound.
Although similar, upbeat and pickup have subtle differences that you should know so that you can use the terms appropriately.
• An upbeat can mean an unaccented beat or beats that occur before the first beat of the measure, or a note or series of notes that comes before the first bar-line of a piece.
• A pickup means a series of notes that comes before the first downward beat in a bar, or a mechanical device that converts vibrations from electrical string instruments into sound.