[Harp-L] Powerbender & Stuff

Gary Lehmann gnarlyheman@xxxxx
Wed Dec 7 21:23:20 EST 2016

Hard to go wrong with Joe's work--but ideally, you have to swap reeds for a
I don't use that one, but I do use Power Chromatic and Major Cross (and
Melody Maker, oh, and I am putting time in on a relative of Power
Chromatic, called PentaBender--and have posted here about it.
I also have a tuning I developed called New World, that is circular on the
bottom, and Richter on holes 5-10 (arranged like holes 4-9). Bottom line
is, I like altered tuned harmonicas.
But Richter is great for blues, since most tunes you might want to copy use
that tuning.
I just discovered an "On the Road Again" harp I made some time ago, it's
fun too!
I build PowerBenders too, but like I first said, go with Joe if you can
afford it!

On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Rishió Raj <rishioway at xxxxx> wrote:

> Hey People. It's been a long time since Powerbenders have been brought up,
> so I'd like to share my own experience with the tuning.
> I'm fairly new to the harmonica but have been practicing pretty heavily for
> the past 8 months exclusively on Powerbender.  To give you and idea of my
> skill level, I'm currently learning the harp with my own practices combined
> with that taught at bluesharmonica.com. I've got all the bends down in
> pucker and been practicing 6 positions (1,2,3,4,5,12 in pentatonic),
> forwards, backwards and upside down. I've just begun my study of
> Tongue-Block, which I love, and got rudimentary bends down for holes 1-8 so
> far (it's just been a week). I think of myself as a passionate beginner.
> I love the Powerbender. The best way I can describe it is Richter in the
> bottom third, PowerChromatic in the middle, and a sort of Pentatonic scale
> in the upper third. I feel like it is versatile like Richter, but easier to
> wrap my head around with all holes having draw bends and no change of
> breath pattern. It's great for someone like me, who's not a blues purist,
> but wants a tuning that has the fundamental qualities of the blues baked
> in, which transfer over in expressive ways to other styles of music.
> According to Brendan Power, for common positions, one doesn't need to
> overbend, but I'm not at the level to see the benefits of this factor as of
> yet.
> It's not all beautiful though. For one, though my initial experience with
> Brendan's PowerBender brand harps were positive, the quality of his harps
> ultimately let me down. The first one had a reed failure after 2 months of
> heavy use, which is fine considering I tortured it by learning how to bend,
> but the next one failed in 1 week of light play, which did not make me
> happy. I also opened up one his harps and noticed one of the reeds had a
> little piece chipped off. I guess they are marketed as low end harps so
> there is no false marketing in that respect. I don't blame Brendan and I
> wish him the best. He's such a great guy and I'll be forever grateful for
> the work he has done for the harp community. Not to mention he's a master
> on the harp. I only wish that he finds a way to make higher quality harps
> under his name and he becomes a super rich and successful business man (who
> drives a Porsche) that makes harps that people want and accelerates the
> evolution of the harmonica. If he makes a quality harp in Powerbender (or
> convinces Suzuki to offer the tuning!), I'll be among the first in line.
> One plus is that you can get Powerbender harps from Seydel. I got one, but
> their harps are not to my taste. I like the Suzuki Manji, so I'm having Joe
> Spiers, another amazing human, build me one. I guess it's bitter sweet,
> because on one hand, I'm getting the harp I want in the tuning I want
> customized to the highest of standards. I can't wait for it to come in! On
> the flip side, it's hard to get a mid-level priced harmonica to bang up for
> the period of time I'm learning to become a better player. I have to go
> straight to the top. I suppose it all comes down to money, and PowerBender
> is the pricier route at this time.
> I'm wondering if there are others who exclusively use an alternative tuning
> and what you love about that tuning. I'm also curious, if you do use the
> Richter Tuning, what do you love about it other than the fact that it's the
> default tuning that comes with the diatonic harps. I see a lot of people
> writing negative things about Richter, but very few about it's postitive
> attributes. I'm just fascinated by tunings in general - the corridor
> inbetween the people and their music! It's Powerbender all the way for me.

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