If you are buying a harp to go with the book, please select the key of A.
You will receive a download link with all tracks as MP3 files. The book comes as a physical copy only.
All harmonicas in the book package are in the key of A.
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.
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:
" 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
" 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
I got your PowerBender in the mail (A harp). When comparing that to the notes on the Manji in A, it
was like night and day, it was so easy to bend the notes they had in common on the PowerBender. And I'm not being unfair to the
Manji here, because it's in Richter. The notes you can actually bend in that format were not all that easy even compared to
some lower-priced harps I've had.
Even when comparing your PowerBender to my Seydel Session Steel harps in PowerBender (A, Bb, and C) they are plenty air-tight, but you
can't bend notes on them as easy as your harp. What the hell, man? I know it's an old blues trope, but did you sell your soul to
the Devil to make harps this good? :-)
Matt H, USA
" 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
" 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
" I don't think I've ever had as much fun with a harmonica. Absolutely superb. You may expect more orders from me. "
" ... 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. "
" 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