By using the Pickup Bar feature

With this method, the upbeat actually contains exactly the number of beats displayed. That is, if you have an upbeat of one beat, your project starts with one bar in 1/4 time.


  1. Change the time signature of the first bar to the length of the upbeat.
  2. Insert a time signature of the correct kind (the time signature used throughout the project) in the second bar.

    To insert a time signature, select it in the “Time Signature” section in the Symbols Inspector and click in the Score with the Draw tool.

  3. Enter the notes in the upbeat into the first bar.

    Figure: The first bar before making any adjustments

  4. Double-click the time signature for the upbeat bar.

    The Edit Time Signature dialog appears.

  5. Activate the “Pickup Bar” option and click OK.

    Now, the time signature of the first bar takes on the look of the second bar’s signature, while the time signature in the second bar is hidden.

  6. If you use bar numbers, double-click the first bar number and enter an offset of -1.
  7. Adjust the display of bar numbers and hide the “0” in the first measure.