Originally Posted by fusssion
Sorry to sound like a putz, ....but.....what is ....."comes in on the upbeat of 3?"
If you count 8th notes in time as "1-and 2-and 3-and 4-and", the downbeats are the numbers (when you say "1", "2", "3", "4"); the upbeats are when you say "and".
Alot of people count this way. Then they might count 16th notes in time as "1-e-and-uh 2-e-and-uh" etc.
It that example above, the intro phrase starts on the upbeat of 3 (or the "and" of 3). The first accented downbeat is on "1" of the second mesure of the phrase. Of course, when you're playing, you're not counting "1-e-and-uh, 2-and 3-and, 4-e-and-uh" necessarily, but while you're working something out, it might help to know where it falls with respect to time, placement in the phrase (which measure), etc. If for no other reason, it gives you some info to talk about if you need to relay info to the band (especially if the "you'll just hear it" method of communication isn't working).
More info than you wanted:
Like if I were playing this and the bass playing didn't hit with me right on "1" when I finished the intro - because this intro phrase is deceptive (it tricks your ear a little at first), I might hand him/her the phrase written out so he/she could check it out while I play it and get comfortable with it. If the bassists can accept a verbal rundown with no paper (which would be excellent), then I might just say something like "OK, I got a four bar intro. I'm going to count off and be coming in on the upbeat (or and) of 3 before bar 2 of the phrase. If your ear is tricking you on when to come in, just count 4 bars of time with me while I'm playing and come in."
I'd probably count the tune off until the bass player and the band were comfortable. It could be short, just 1-2-3 and then you're in on the upbeat.
This is off topic a little, but for me, I wish everyone could communicate a little better sometimes. It's hard to pick up things from people when they can't articulate what they mean - especially if your a drummer and they're talking about time or rhythm or something. As drummers, I think most of the time, we have pretty specific language about what things mean and when someone (like maybe a bass player) asks me to play a triplet before a break and what they actually mean is three quarter notes in a row, it's kinda a bummer - especially if you're playing a gig and haven't rehearsed.
Being able to talk a tune down in musical terms so everyone can understand what's going on before the tune starts isn't a trivial skill (imo), but one to hone - it just makes things alot easier.