The Ultimate “Where’s One?” Riff

Strum this sprightly sequence of chords solidly (without tapping your foot) and ask your listeners to identify beat one—or, for that matter, any other downbeat. Unless they are familiar with Afro funk, they will likely be completely stumped. Cool! That’s because this lick—modeled after the bouncy guitar part on Nigerian reggae star Sonny Okosun’s “Olu Ebube”—never actually touches a downbeat and is therefore easy to hear “inside out.” But once you learn to feel those downbeat rests, you’ll find the phrase locks onto a four-on-the-floor funk beat as effortlessly as magnets attach to your refrigerator. Fun!
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