Thanks for checking out this month’s Black Beauty Snare free drum loop! Explore my blog to download other free drum loops, and sign up to my mailing list to receive a one every month. Head to my remote recording sessions page, and sign up at the bottom of the page.

And of course, if you’d like drums for your project, get in touch! I record for artists and producers all over the world. You can also reach me on my Instagram page, where I post the latest samples and clips from the latest sessions I’m working on.



This month’s loop, is a half-time groove based on a linear idea I came up with using inverted variations Double Strokes at 115 BPM

This groove is exciting as I’ve recorded it using my new Black Beauty snare copy by WorldMax, and new A Designs Pacifica preamps on the Overheads.



I’ve been into half-time grooves recently, and this is another example of that. Again, I’ve used space and not played lots of bass drums. And the sound of the snare; it’s musical, clear, snappy and articulate! This Black Beauty snare copy sounds like the real deal. I mean, a Ludwig black brass snare is really pricey, and finding a WorldMax version of it that sounds pretty much the same is awesome!

Jeff Porcaro, John Bonham, Bernard Purdie, Jason McGerr have great half-time shuffles which are very inspiring… This drum beat however, goes a bit the other way being a straight rather than swung groove.



If you’re a drummer and would like the transcription to the groove, download it below.




Get this and other free drum beats online on my blog, or sign up to my mailing list to receive them straight to your inbox (head to the bottom of the sessions page)!




Thanks again for stopping by, and enjoy!


Stay safe,


Nick 🙂

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome

Do you get imposter syndrome? It sucks, doesn’t it… Not sure what I’m talking about? It’s that deep-seated doubt in your skills, talents or achievements and the fear that people will find out you’re a fraud. It’s essentially a thought pattern, one that despite evidence that supports the opposite persists, popping up every so often. 


Why did I want to talk about imposter syndrome? Because I thought it would be interesting to share that I get it myself, and some things I do to help me combat it, which boil down to tracking our own progress, not someone else’s, over time.


Progress over time: Here’s the beginning stages of building my new purpose-built studio, where I teach and record drums for artists world-wide.


The issue

Personally, it’s hard to pinpoint where this doubt comes from for me. I’d say the idea of comparing myself to others plays a part in it. Now, I think it’s natural to compare ourselves to others, but we gotta do so in a healthy way. When the self-doubt creeps in, I start asking myself unhealthy questions such as


  • Why others seem to be doing better than I?
  • Is it because there’s something wrong with me and what I do?
  • What am I doing wrong?
  • Am I not good enough, and therefore a fraud?


These questions are of course valid! Yet it’s more to do with the angle at which we’re looking at ‘em. One point of view is that comparing oneself to others can be a great way to help us remain competitive and push ourselves to be the best we can be. However, when that perspective is negative, they’re quite frightening. And add to the vacuous nature and consumption of Social Media to the mix and you got yourself a real recipe for disaster!

Lucky for me, these thoughts are just cyclical, and I here’s a couple of things I do to help me snap out of it.


Progress over time: 4 layers of insulation means recording and teaching in the room is interruption-free!


Apples to apples

What helps me is a combination of things that are focused on reminding myself to only compare me with me over time. And I try to use calm and positivity to help ease my mind… Sounds corny, I know.


Admire and aspire

We may see someone we admire and aspire to be like, but we’re not them, never going to be them, and that’s OK. The older I get, the more I learn to accept who I am, how I am, and look to develop myself and what I do to the best of my abilities, not someone else’s.


A highlight reel

It’s also worth reminding ourselves that Social Media is just a highlight reel… It’s what happens between real life. It’s easy to get sucked into it, and in my view, can help imposter syndrome thrive.



Taking a deep breath and focusing on my breathing really calms my “monkey mind”. My old therapist taught me what he called “7:11 breathing” where you breathe in for 7 counts and out for 11 nice and slow. And if you want to take it to the next level, he said, pay attention to the point at which the air comes into your nose.


Talk about it

Speak to someone, be it a peer, your partner, family member, a therapist… Anyone whose opinion you trust, and not someone who you think is going to blow smoke up your butt!


Progress over time: with the shell complete, it was time to lay down flooring, painting the wall, and move the equipment in!


SMART goals

When thinking about this idea of comparing ourselves to ourselves over time, goal-setting comes to mind. This is something I’ve briefly discussed before, yet I wanted to go a bit more in detail because I think it’s a great tool for imposter syndrome.

Set yourself a goal that you can look back on and see how far you’ve come. However, make sure your goals aren’t unrealistic and unattainable; make ’em S.M.A.R.T goals:



What do you want to accomplish? Be clear and specific about it as otherwise you’ll lose focus in getting there. Think about what and who is involved in achieving it? Try and think of all the variables involved.



How will you measure your goal? If we’re thinking drums, for instance, it could be BPM, or perhaps how many minutes can you improvise. If like myself, you’re a business, the number of students or monthly sessions could be your metric… Just make sure it’s measurable.


Progress over time: spent a couple of days painting, and laying down wood flooring with my partner. That was fun!



Nothing wrong with shooting for the stars! However, your goal needs to be realistic, as otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Think about how you can accomplish your goal and the work involved in doing so. Work within those parameters!



Your goal needs to be important and relevant to you. Again, what do you want to achieve! Similarly, don’t ignore the wider factors that affect relevance, such as whether it’s a worthwhile pursuit, and whether it’s the right time for you to be looking to achieve this.



This is where we come full circle… By giving ourselves a time in which to achieve our goal, we can then look back and see how much we’ve accomplished. Think about how long you want to give yourself to achieve it, and what you can do today, in a month from now, etc in order to reach your target.


Progress over time: whilst I’m still putting up panels for an optimal room sound, I’ve now started recording and teaching in there. The drums sound great!


The proof is in the pudding

This is the kind of thing that works for me in order to help me track my progress! Even if I’m not going ahead and thinking about each of these things in detail, the idea here is that when I look at where I am today, I look at where I was a year ago and where I want to be in the future. The operative concept here is I and not the chump next door. Remember: the proof is in the pudding!