Brendan Power Signature
Brendan Power
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The 10 hole diatonic is the biggest selling harmonica of all. After a period of much experimentation in the mid-nineteenth century, a classic design appeared which set the format and benchmark for all 10 hole harps that followed: the 1896 Hohner Marine Band. It is made virtually unchanged to this day, and still remains the axe of choice for many professional harp players.

99% of other 10 hole diatonics made since, by all manufacturers, have followed its lead, including its tuning scale, commonly known as Richter Tuning. By a happy accident, a tuning intended by its German designers to play oom-pah style in the key of the harmonica (Straight Harp, or 1st Position) turned out to be great for playing Blues in the 'wrong' key: what we now call Cross Harp, or 2nd Position.

This unintended affinity for the soulful Blues harp style entrenched Richter tuning amongst players, as it was used on all the great historical recordings by the blues greats such as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sonny Terry etc etc.

Richter is a great harmonica tuning, but it has some problems and deficiencies when it comes to playing expressively all through the 3 octave range in the commonly-used 2nd Position style used by most players today. For example, the breathing pattern switches in holes 7-10, which many players find confusing, and the easy draw bends that blues players love to use are impossible above hole 6.

My PowerBender and PowerDraw tunings keep the best aspects of Richter but overcome it issues by retuning the upper scale to give soulful draw bends EVERYWHERE. They also have a regular-breath scale, without the confusing switchover of Richter.

PowerBender and PowerDraw give adventurous players a whole new sound on the expressive little 10 hole harp! They have to be heard and experienced to really appreciate their cool new possibilities. Click on the tabs to get more info on these increasingly popular new standard tunings for the diatonic harp, and hear them in action.

Paddy Richter Tuning is a small variation on standard Richter that gives great new possibilities for playing melodies, especially fast Irish and American Fiddle tunes tunes. It too is fast gaining traction amongst folk harmonica players. Click the tab to check it out!



The PowerBender tuning builds on the best parts of the traditional Richter Tuning, while altering the scale to make the real juicy and important notes much easier to obtain throughout the whole three octave range. If you're interested in a fresh sound on the 10 hole diatonic, LOTS more bending expression and easy jazzy playing, the PowerBender is a good choice for you!

Same familiar breathing pattern in the upper-middle registers. All draw notes bend everywhere, holes 1-10! On the un-valved version you can overblow every hole 1-10, for full chromatic playing. Overdraws and blow bends are no longer possible or needed on a PowerBender - they are replaced with simple draw bends. On the half-valved version, a mix of normal draw bends and valved blow bends gives full chromaticism. Top octave easy to play (intuitive) as many familiar phrasings can be adopted from the bottom octaves Easy to play in the common positions: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, and 12th.

Check out this video where I demonstrate playing in many keys and positions (these are tracks from the book/CD)
Here is a demonstration of my new-generation own-brand PowerBender:

Buying Advice

NEWSFLASH June 2017

I'm now also making the PowerBender in 13-hole 4 octave format, in the form of my unique Lucky 13 harp. It gives you all the benefits of PowerBender/PowerDraw/Paddy Richter (choose one as appropriate), PLUS an extra low octave to extend the range. The Lucky 13 is like two harps in one, excellent value and a very good harp out of the box.
You can buy my own-brand model in five common keys, or you can buy a Seydel PowerBender with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too!

Postage

These harmonicas are sent to you direct by my business partner Roland, in Shanghai. This helps us to keep prices low and re-stock quickly. We use a respected Chinese courier company with tracking on all orders. In the rare event that your parcel gets lost, the courier company will need your contact telephone number. We recommend that you add the correct phone number into PayPal when you order, as this will ensure that you can be contacted in the event of an issue. (Your choice, but please note that without a valid phone number we cannot guarantee delivery).

POWERBENDER Book/CD

44 Page Instructional Book with 86 Track CD: £29

You will also receive a download link with all instructional tracks as MP3 files.

International Postage is included in the price.
NOTE: if you buy the book and my own-brand PowerBender, they will arrive in separate packages. You will need the key of A to go with the book.

Add to Cart

Own-Brand POWERBENDER Harps

This is my new generation own-brand model, launched October 2015. Made to my specifications by a reputable Chinese harmonica company, it  has phosphor-bronze reeds, improved reed/slot tolerances, a smooth lipped comb and higher covers to eliminate reed rattle in the low keys. A good introduction to the tuning for those wanting to try PowerBender without breaking the bank.

If you are buying a harp to go with my book, please select the key of A.

International Postage is included in the price

Own-Brand PowerBender: £27
Key:



To the Power of Five!

All five keys for a Reduced Price! - Low F, G, A, C and D

Please include your phone number when you order as this will help with delivery.

Save money by purchasing all five PowerBender harps for £22 each, a saving of £25 total from the cost of buying all separately.

International Postage is included in the price.

All FIVE PowerBender harps - £110

Add to Cart



PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return. In some cases the harps will come in a different box to the one shown here.
Check out the YouTube Video to hear my new PowerBenders in action.

Check out the Philosophy behind the POWERBENDER and see the Tuning Diagram.

See Music and Tab from the 44 page Book for Sixth Position

Hear two Instructional Clips from the CD for 5th Position







BUYERS' COMMENTS

" Just wanted to say that several days ago I finally got a hold of the Powerbender. I love it. I've been practicing every moment I have to myself, almost obsessively, and I've already broken through walls I never did with Richter. The tuning is wonderful, a nice mix of simplicity and versatility, and I plan to master it as best as I can over the next several years. It's so nice to be able to draw bend at every hole without having to worry about being at a hole I can't draw bend and it's so mind-freeing that the breathing pattern doesn't flip which was driving me crazy. I'm even happy with how well the instrument was packaged and the quality of the harp exceeded my expectations. I'm not exactly clear why you have marketed as a good introduction to the tuning. I feel like it's higher quality than just an intro harp. "

Rishi Oswal, USA (May 2016)
" I just received my new 'key of A' Powerbender Harp - and love it ! Top-Shelf Quality. It will take a little while to 'DE-Richter' my brain - but now can draw-bend blues notes in the 7-10 hole section.

First off - it is the Fastest and Smoothest harp I have played (previous Pro-Harp player, obsolete Harps now)
- Harp is loud enough for me - projects well
- The tone is perfect for my sound - Folk to Dirty Chicago-style (Shure bullet mic/Champ-style Amp)
- smooth, effortless, very controllable bending "

Glenn Kubik, Calgary, CANADA (April 2016)
" I don't think I've ever had as much fun with a harmonica. Absolutely superb. You may expect more orders from me. "

Josh Slade
" ... Wow. What has really inspired me is first posistion which I've never played in before. It's awesome. I still have trouble getting a full bend draw on the third hole in some keys so I just switch to the fifth harp of the key and play in first posistion. I guess I'm cheating. Listened to a bunch of Charlie McCoy interviews and thought if he can switch that much so can I. Lol. I'm going to be getting some of your other things to. I just wanted to says thanks. I'm a guitar player Trying to get decent on harp but the powerbender has got me playing things I never thought I would. You're a real inspiration. "

Jeff Hogsten
" Hi Brendan. The powerbender arrived today and can I say it was worth the wait. It plays really well and I'm looking forward tae digging in. Thought it was worth mentioning that the tracking system you have in place worked a treat all the way from China. Aa' the best Al. "

Al Price, Scotland
" Hi Brendan, The harps arrived, thanks. I am really excited with your tuning, especially the OB possibilities !!!! I'm finding so many cool lines that appear effortlessly with the PowerBender. It's going to take a while to really play my thoughts in 12 keys but it's totally possible with this tuning. The Manjis are very OB friendly without much effort, i'm liking them. You really have something special here - great work! Its brilliant - I think its going to be around for a long long time after we're gone. "

MIKE STEVENS: Renowned Canadian Pro Country/Bluegrass Player (Owner of 14 Manji and 22 Filisko PowerBenders...)
" I got the book & CD today - My first impression is that this harp tuning is your masterpiece! The booklet really helps to make the tuning understandable. I decided to treat myself to a harmonica that you worked on.... "

RICHARD SLEIGH: Premier Harp Customiser and Player, author of the excellent tech book "Turbocharge Your Harmonica"
" Brendan Power's PowerBender tuning changed my mindset on altered harps. I acquired one the day after SPAH and even though I was 100% harmonica'd out, I found the PowerBender to be a fresh sound to my ears. I spent over two full days playing with it and it's the first altered tuned harp that allows me to play what I hear in my head. I love that my signature 11-12th positions riffs are all available on this instrument via 2nd position. I love that all of my neo-soul, funk, jazz and blues lines are available within one comfortable position. Of all the special tunings, I've tried, which is most, Brendan has simply nailed it with this one, this is the tuning that really works and to me is the most practical. "

CHRIS MICHALEK (BUDDHA) R.I.P. Influential Player/Teacher, and maker of the respected "Buddha Harps".
" I really like it and think it's a fun tuning. Not only does it work well for bluesy licks, but you can also use it to play melodic songs in 2nd position which would otherwise require country tuning, or valves "

TODD PARROTT: One of the Tastiest & Most Accomplished Overblow Players Around Today.
" PowerBender is awesome, Brendan!! "

JOE SPIERS: Jason Ricci's Favourite Custom Harp Maker - need we say more...?
" Brendan i got it!!! Awesome man! Just started but can achieve all bends. I'm not an OB man so this is great! I know it will be widely accepted. You are a renaissance man! "

GARY HILT, Lafayette, INDIANA, USA
" Hi Brendan ! I just received the harp n book. I only play it for a few mins and im so impressed by what the POWERBENDER can achieve. I couldn't express how much i like it and obviously there's still lot of thing for me to explore on this POWERBENDER tuning. i found that i can overblow SO smoothly on the firebreath that you retuned for me... Brendan seriously you are one of the most innovative and best harmonica player out there. You are just amazing !!! I want to Thank you for all of the effort you put into writing this book ... and we all really benefit a lot from you. YOU ARE THE MAN ;) "

CHUAH CHEE THAI: Penang, Malaysia. Check out Thai's Online Harmonica Store
" Happy to receive the PowerBender harmonica and the book yesterday. I admit that it takes time to master a new tuning but your book is a very useful guide for me to learn it. The songs from the CD gave me very good impression of this new tuning, how expressive and how 'powerful' it is. It surprised me it can cover such a wide range of position playing."

TERENCE CHAN, New Territories, HONG KONG
" Hi Brendan, I started to play the Harpmaster PowerBender and I found it really great; the reed responsivess is high and its full bending capabilities a real plus; now I am concentrating on first and second position and I found that the 1st position middle octave licks become alive; no OB necessity to achieve those flat 3rd, 5th and 7th; I am curious to play the 2nd flat position which I find challenging on the Ritcher diatonic. Great work and useful accompanying booklet. "

GIANANDREA PASQUINELLI, Bologna, ITALY
" I just found the Powerbender configuration on the Seydel website. I'll be ordering me a C harp to get a feel for the new tuning. I really haven't tried anything other than standard Richter so far, but after seeing what you were able to do with the Powerbender, I think it has a lot of potential for my traditional blues playing. Thanks!"

Excellent West Coast Blues Player AKI KUMAR, San Francisco USA.
" So yesterday I got the book from Brendan and I had some time to read it. I tried the 1st and 2nd position examples from there and something clicked - I understood experientially the improved elements of this tuning vs. the richter tuning. I'm a believer! :D Seriously, while I am very accustomed to the 2nd position of the richter tuning, the 1st position on the POWERBENDER kicks richter's ass! And to be honest, the 2nd octave of the 2nd position on PB tuning is also far more expressive and groovy than the richter's. I mean I can utilize the 6OB pretty well nowadays and I can even get the 7OD too, but I can't put so much expression to the playing with that tuning. The 6 drawbend for example brings something that you really can't do with the richter and for my ear that is really nice sound. The micro-tonalities are just superb in this PB layout. The richter seems to have it's advantages too... But when it comes to blues, I have no doubt that PB is far better tuning to learn for that - at least for 1st & 2nd position. So yesterday I had a chance to try out the 3rd position as well. It was just grrrrreat! This tuning with 3rd position is enabling me to get so groovy and sweet melodies that it's is really refreshing to my ears.. I started to jam with the 3rd position minor & minor pentatonic scales and then put some blues scales in there - it really opened up some new possibilities and I felt that I really could hear the "soul" of this position. In this PB tuning my feeling is that at least 1st, 2nd & 3rd positions are all about as easy to play (and they all are very groovy), but the differences lie in where the most juicy notes are.. This is my subjective opinion of course, but I feel that I won't be expanding my richter harp collection anymore but instead I will put my main efforts to the PB tuning. Summa summarum: I just found my new favorite tuning here! :)"

ARI-PEKKA SKARP, Oulu, FINLAND, on ModernBluesHarmonica Forum
" You just gotta try one of these out! It's worth the price of admission to just get the intensive practice on bending--all up and down the harp! Just get the book though--Brendan is great to deal with and the CD and little book are invaluable data, great value for the money. I've only been messing with it for a couple of hours today--and I'm sold--I'll be making some more of these babies. I've been in kind of a rut with harp for a while now--this breaks me clear out of it--it's fresh and new and I'm loving it!"

OLDWAILER, Olympia WA, USA, on MBH Forum
" I have always approached harp with Rhythm and Melody in Mind, not Blues. First trials on Powerbender have changed all that. I now am really enjoying playing Blues based harmonica. It's so good to be be able to do so with fresh ideas and a creative outlook rather than those tired old cliches. Getting rid of the inversion at 7 seems so natural now. I have always wondered why it was there, seems so obvious what you have done...., now. Its good to have some one go through the positions for me and lay them on paper. Minor 6th is my current favourite and I am amazed at all the fresh discoveries I am finding in so many of the positions and even though I have been playing 3rd or 4th in the past ,so people tell me, I have never fully understood them. Your book has gone a long way to helping me...... thanks."

CHRIS LEE, Christchurch, New Zealand
" Hey Brendan! As you saw I already placed an order for my next Powerbender. I can't tell you enough how amazed I am with this tuning. I have been playing it most of the day today and it just felt so natural. Once I got the hang of the new tuning it all just felt so natural. The draw bends are amazing and the extended range without having to rely on overblows is pure genius. I have been having a lot of fun with this harp and look forward to adding many more to my harp arsenal. I will be using it Thursday at the bleus club....and look forward to making sure everyone else is as impressed with the harp as I am. You are definitely on to something. I look forward to ordering many more from you in the future. Regards, "

RYAN 'Uncle Dirty' BANNISTER, Harrisburg PA, USA
" Brendan, I've been woodshedding on the Powerbender harp and book ever since I got them. The concept of the tuning layout is a real inspiration. The book is very helpful. I find the harp response somewhat stiff and sluggish for my taste. I am a Marine Band tongue-blocking Blues player. I enjoy some of the new chordal color available. This tuning's inherent sequence of notes helps me create new runs, achieve old familiar licks in a new way and I will continue to learn each time I pick the instrument up. Thank-you for your commitment and service to the harmonica and the music world in general. "

Slightly Bent, DW Gill, Winslow ME, USA
" Hi Brendan, I got the A harp and book/cd, enjoying exploring the possibilities on this great layout. The first thing I found was that the G on 7 hole draw bend is perfect for "On The Road Again" by Canned Heat! Thanks for your excellent invention! "

BRIAN IRVING, East Grinstead UK
" Hi Brendan, the Powerbender arrived yesterday and I played it a litle bit after listening to the CD. It is a new concept and a fresh style of playing. I like it, it makes me smiling and I need some time to try it more. I don't play Overblows or Overbends, but with this harmonica I have a new sound in my ears. " Thanks and after some experience maybe I will make a short viedeo. "

MARIO HEMKEN, MÜNSTER, GERMANY
" Must say that the Power Bender is the best custom tuned harmonica I have played, thanks for the revolutionary design. "

ROSS JACQUES, Orpington, UK
" Got the harp today thanks brendan! Gonna sit down and figure it out. I love all the overblows I normally use are now these really soulful and deep draw bends. I also love that feeling of bending those high draw notes. It makes it so much more soulful. "

MICHAEL MURRAY, Donegal, Ireland
" My POWERBENDER Harmonica's Play Like a brezze!!! WOW!! It's really simple play by the ear a melodycally tune,no comparison with the Richter... Greats Job Professor Power!!! Thanxx You again, "

FEDERICO PELLEGRINI, Brindisi, Italy



If you're interested in incredible draw bending expression in the top octave whilst retaining all the best aspects of a traditional harp in the lower two octaves, the PowerDraw is a good choice for you! Just top off the standard Richter tuning in holes 1-6 with the logical breathing pattern and draw-bending soul of my PowerBender tuning on holes 7-10. It's a win-win! See the detailed description and watch the video below.

You can buy my inexpensive own-brand model in five popular keys (below), or you can buy a Seydel PowerDraw harp with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too. Watch the Seydel Video to understand more about how PowerDraw works, and how easy it is to adapt to for players of standard Richter harps.

POWERDRAW - WHY IT'S SO MUCH FUN!

PowerDraw tuning is a combination of standard Richter (holes 1-6) and PowerBender (holes 7-10). The Best of Both Worlds! It's easy to learn because:
  • The bulk of the harp (holes 1-6) stays exactly the same as normal, so there is no need to re-learn anything in that comfortable range you're so accustomed to.
  • The breathing pattern of holes 1-6 (blow reed low, draw reed high in each hole) is retained all the way up to hole 10 on the PowerDraw! This gives the top octave an instant feeling of familiarity to anyone who tries it, because the techniques and riffs that work so well lower down work up there too (click on "Tunings" tab in GEEK ZONE above to see the scale).
  • Simplified Technique: There are no blow bends and no overdraws needed in the PowerDraw tuning. Two of the most important 'blue' notes in 2nd position (the flat third, which was overblow 6) and the flat fifth (overdraw 7) are now simple draw bends on holes 7 and 8: the octave-up equivalents of the familiar draw bends on holes 3 and 4.
  • Every draw note bends from hole 7-10, soulful and easy! That's right - you can now really WAIL up high on your harp! Plus, in un-valved setup, every hole overblows for chromatic playing, and the upper octave overblows are much easier than the overdraws necessary in Richter tuning.
  • PowerDraw works well with the octave-playing approach of tongue blockers. The notes in the top octave are similar to Richter, but the intervals are slightly different. Octave splitting is actually easier, because both blow and draw notes have a 5 hole split above hole 4. See the Seydel PowerDraw Video for a demonstration.
  • PowerDraw is ideal for Second Position, but works works great in many other positions too, especially Third (nice useful bends in the top octave), Fifth (good expression in the top end), Second Position Minor (no need to overblow to get the flat 3rd ), Eleventh and Twelfth (great expression in the top octave).

Buying Advice

NEWSFLASH June 2017

I'm now also making the PowerDraw in 13-hole 4 octave format, in the form of my unique Lucky 13 harp. It gives you all the benefits of PowerBender/PowerDraw/Paddy Richter (choose one as appropriate), PLUS an extra low octave to extend the range. The Lucky 13 is like two harps in one, excellent value and a very good harp out of the box.

New Own-Brand POWERDRAW Harps

Low F, G, A, C and D

This is my new generation own-brand model, launched October 2015. Made to my specifications by a reputable Chinese harmonica company, it  has phosphor-bronze reeds, improved reed/slot tolerances, a smooth lipped comb and higher covers to eliminate reed rattle in the low keys. A good introduction to the tuning for those wanting to try PowerDraw without breaking the bank.

Postage

These harmonicas are sent to you direct by my business partner Roland, in Shanghai. This helps us to keep prices low and re-stock quickly. We use a respected Chinese courier company with tracking on all orders. In the rare event that your parcel gets lost, the courier company will need your contact telephone number. We recommend that you add the correct phone number into PayPal when you order, as this will ensure that you can be contacted in the event of an issue. (Your choice, but please note that without a valid phone number we cannot guarantee delivery).



PowerDraw Harmonica - £27

International Postage is included in the price.

Key:




Buy all Five Keys for a Reduced Price!

Please include your phone number when you order as this will help with delivery.

Save money by purchasing all five PowerDraw harps for £22 each, a saving of £25 total from the cost of buying all separately. The best value package option if you're new to the PowerDraw!

International Postage is included in the price.

All FIVE PowerDraw harps - £110

Add to Cart

You can buy a high-quality Seydel PowerDraw harp with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too.


PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return. In some cases the harps will come in a different box to the one shown here.


BUYERS' COMMENTS

" Hi Brendan, I got my Power Draws yesterday, thanks. Mate I haven't done much with exotic harmonicas and brands etc I've been a steak and two veg man for as long as I've played the Lee Oskars and Hohner blues harp have served me well enough. Anyway I'm really pleased and impressed by these harmonica's you and your manufacturing partner should be really proud of them. Outstanding and suits my cross harp style focused on draw bends and wailing blues notes. I can't comment on longevity yet or the comparable Suzuki or Sedel power draw tuned harps but I'm excited to be playing these and the musical possibilities.

As a general player I have the utmost respect for your pioneering spirit and music I cannot thank you enough for the great things you've done for our humble instrument. Mate these harps are the business. "

James Robbie, Queensland, Australia (June 2016)
" Howdy Brendan! Just wanted to let you know, I just picked up a Powerdraw harp in the key of A.. I LOVE it! This tuning is completely revolutionary and very useful! EXCELLENT idea sir!! I can't wait to try out the Powerbender next. I really enjoy and appreciate what you're doing for the harmonica. Keep up the amazing work! "

Hank Shreve, Jasper Oregon, USA


Paddy Richter is the whimsical name I gave to a simple tuning I devised to play Irish music on the 10 hole diatonic harmonica, first recorded on my New Irish Harmonica album of 1994. The standard harp tuning is known as Richter Tuning, the Irish are often affectionately called Paddies... and so Paddy Richter was born.

Along with Paddy Richter tuning, I also invented half-valving on the harmonica (there is more detailed info on both further down the page). Half-valving really helps on harps used for Irish music, because it makes the important blow notes play louder, sweeter and with more soul.

You can order the same excellent Suzuki Promaster MR-350V Half-Valved harmonicas in Paddy Richter Tuning that I use for Irish Music, in all 12 keys (plus Low F and High G). All harps are hand-retuned and have the outer valves trimmed back to avoid sticking.

video link - Brendan demonstrates Paddy Richter.
SUZUKI PROMASTER: Luxury Diatonic

Alloy Comb, Phosphor Bronze Reeds, Half-Valved

Key:



£72.50

(£67.50 each if you buy three or more harps)

NEWSFLASH June 2017

I'm now also offering Paddy Richter in 13-hole 4 octave format, in the form of my unique Lucky 13 harp. It gives you all the benefits of PowerBender/PowerDraw/Paddy Richter (choose one as appropriate), PLUS an extra low octave to extend the range. The Lucky 13 is like two harps in one, excellent value and a very good harp out of the box.
REPLACEMENT PADDY RICHTER REEDPLATES

Suzuki have famously durable reeds, but even they will fail after a lot of use. If a reed goes on your Promaster you can save money by buying replacement reedplates instead of the whole harp. The new plates are already in Paddy Richter tuning, and it’s a simple job to swap out the old ones.

Key:



£40





Paddy Richter tuning only has one note different to standard Richter, but what a difference that small change makes! On a normal harp, hole two draw and three blow are the same note. I took advantage of that duplication to raise three blow by a tone to get the missing note you normally have to obtain via a tricky draw bend. On a G harp it would raise the D in hole three to E:



This makes a massive difference to the ease of melody playing on the 10 hole harp. Suddenly tunes that were very hard to play lay out beautifully - including Irish jigs and reels. These are played fast, and it's impossible to get that essential missing note (the 6th of the home scale) accurately at speed via bending. Paddy Richter builds it in to the scale as a simple blow note on hole 3. Suddenly the humble blues harp is transformed into an instrument that can easily keep up with flying fiddles, pipes and flutes at an Irish session!
Here's a famous reel, "The Bucks of Oranmore", played on a Paddy Richter harp in D:

Below is a video demonstrating Half-Valving:



I've written a popular Instruction Book with 55 Track CD demonstrating how to play Irish Music on the 10 hole harp, including Paddy Richter instruction and examples. Click the link for more info and check out the comments on the book/CD and ProMaster harmonicas from many satisfied customers.

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