A Not So Modern

Product Review

“NO MO Scratches”


This just another great example of following the famous American adage being that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention!”  Steve Ives saw some of the same “drum needs” that many of us have become all too well aware of, but he actually did something about it.  That something became a line of products that are now known as the NOMO.  Some of these “little fixes” became drum finish protectors, designed to keep your drums from scratching or otherwise damaging each other from contact or rubbing; others, are just intended to be helpful in getting the job done in a neat, stealthy manner.  Each NOMO is designed to be used “as is” or custom augmented for each drum or purpose. 

The flagship product in the line is the NOMO that started it all.  Steve basically saw that the rim of his snare drum was coming in contact with the finish of the underside of his rack tom and scratching it.  He took a piece of durable material, double-sided it, stitched a loop across the top and ran a piece of leather lace through it and tied it off on each side to the drums tension rods.  The Finish Protector now hangs out of sight between the two drums, keeping them from making contact with each other. 

Steve also has larger Finish Protectors for you if like to put your rack-tom in a snare drum stand and have it positioned just beside or over your kick.  Many of us have found over the years that this is also a good way to scratch the finish of your vintage or custom kick drum.  Simply place your NOMO on the kick drum in the area of the “danger-zone,” tie it off and stop worrying about it.     

The NOMO Kick Hoop Protector guards against the tight grip of bass drum pedal clamps.  Many (if not all) kick pedals seem to use hard clamps that squeeze down on both sides of the counter hoop…….marring the finish of even the most resilient drum hoop.  This NOMO is made of a single sided piece of the same durable material as all NOMOs, and ties the same way around the drums tension rods, folding around the outside rim of the hoop and coming between both sides of the hoop and the pedal clamp.  If the pedal ever slides on the hoop (as some guys kick harder and some finishes could have a “slippy-er” finish than others), some sort of “tacky” material can be glued on the inside of the NOMO material to get a tighter bite on the hoop.  Again, fully customizable!

In experimenting with the NOMOs , I found a great new use to combat an unforeseen problem with one of the toms on my kit.  It seems that the 16” suspended tom has a “RIMS-like” suspension bracket that apparently has slightly fatigued over the years and was now making contact with the drums lacquer finish as well as making noise.  I took one of the NOMO Kick Hoop Protectors (as it is single ply and thin) and custom cut it with a pair of scissors and fit it between the drum and the suspension bracket, again tying off the leather lace with the tension rods.  Mission accomplished! This incredibly easy and effective fix is so stealthy that it’s hard to notice, just like all the NOMO products. 

Never one to like the idea of taking 20 pairs of sticks to a gig…..I usually only use a few pair of sticks, mallets and brushes when I play.  The other issue I have is I don’t always use a kit that has a free-standing floor-tom to attach an average size or larger stick bag. The larger, hanging / suspended toms I use much of the time won’t support that type of weight.  Steve Ives seems to have come up with the perfect solution for this with the NOMO Stick Caddy.  Each one holds two pair of whatever you got.  It attaches the same way as the other NOMOs by simply tying the leather lace around the adjacent tension rods. They can be hung on the low-end toms (or any other drum for that matter) and even works well laying across the top of the kick drum for a quick grab at a stick.  

One Evening I thought I would get a little creative with the Stick Caddies.  I decided to see about anchoring them to the lower end of the drum shells, thus providing two points of contact with the drum.  To accomplish this, I merely took a pair of scissors and poked a small hole on each side of the center stitching about a quarter of an inch inside, and parallel to the bottom tension rods.  The next step was to thread a piece of the leather lace through the holes and tie it off to the tension rods.  I then repeated the process again for the next tom, adjusting for depth.  What I like best about these stick holders is that they stay on the drum when it gets packed away in the case; just like all NOMOs, it folds up with the drum.    

The final NOMO I “played” was the NOMO Set List Holder.  Made of a heave-duty, clear material, it ties anywhere you want it.  Fold your set list in half and insert into your NOMO, now your set list is protected and exactly where you what it:  only an arm’s length away.

All NOMOs are available in black or clear material.  I have NOMOs all over my kit and they are hardly visible as they are designed to do the job without detracting from the drums. They are easy to adapt to your particular configuration or custom need.  With NOMO, the only limitation is YOUR imagination.  Steve also welcomes your requests for custom orders and ideas.  In short, I really have to recommend these things, you should probably have at least a half dozen for yourself……they’re cheap, they’re simple, and they really work!


From Lancaster County PA, thoughts from the shop……..Brian Hill


For more NOMO info, see Steve Ives at:



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