Watch the Whatchamacallit: Verse online guitar lesson by Adam Levy from 50 Low-Down Rhythms You MUST Know

Ry Cooder is best known for his slide-guitar playing, but he’s also a hell of a rhythm guitarist. This motivic lick was inspired by Cooder’s work with songwriter John Hiatt. Notice how we avoid emphasizing beat 1 throughout - either with a rest (bars 1, 3, 5, and 7), or by starting the phrase a half-beat early (bars 2, 4, 6, 8). That gives this lick a swerving feel.