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Brendan Power
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I've always loved listening to Indian, Chinese and Arabic music, and a few years ago started studying these great Eastern musical traditions more closely. A big part of the attraction for me was the use of exquisite microtonal bending on all notes in their scales (known as Ragas in Indian Music, and Maqam in Arabic). I was especially inspired by the soulful wide pitch bending in Chinese music, on such traditional instruments as the Erhu and Hulusi. But when I tried playing along on conventional harps, it just didn't work - not nearly enough bending available!

I found I had to create an entirely new harmonica to achieve an authentic sound for Chinese and other Asian styles. I first used it on my album New Chinese Harmonica - you can hear clips from it here. I soon found the harmonica was great for playing Western melodies more expressively too, and started using it on my gigs. The album and live shows generated many requests for the harmonica itself, so here it is: the AsiaBend!

The AsiaBend The AsiaBend The AsiaBend The AsiaBend The AsiaBend
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See the original look AsiaBend
It looks like a chromatic harmonica, but it's not! You'll instantly realise that when you check out the videos below. Strat with th top-right video and go around clockwise. As you will hear from the videos, this is a completely new harmonica type with a unique sound: an all-draw, all-bending soul machine! It has Patent Pending status for its many novel features.

Unlike other harmonicas of similar universal bending ability (eg. the XB-40), my AsiaBend uses only draw breath direction throughout the whole instrument to create the main scale and bent notes, and has no windsaver flap valves! Instead of valves the AsiaBend uses the slider action of an airtight chromatic harmonica to isolate reed pairs and select the bending function. It employs normally-silent blow x-reeds paired with active draw reeds to allow every draw reed to be bent controllably in pitch to adjacent scale notes. Its scale layout is designed to allow the player to controllably bend every note of a diatonic major scale (and related modes) up to and down from other notes of the scale, as well as microtones in between. The fact it has no valves means that the overblow technique is available on every hole to obtain extra chromatic notes.

Bending on the AsiaBend is exactly the same type of interactive-reed draw bending as on diatonic 10-hole harps. The scale is similar to the middle octave of a diatonic, or Solo tuning on chromatic, with a 3 octave range. So it will be easy for both diatonic and chromatic players to adapt to. The layout is:

SLIDE OUT:    C    E    G    C  |  C    E    G    C  |  C    E    G    C 
SLIDE IN:        D    F    A    B  |  D    F    A    B  |  D    F    A    B

These are draw notes only. The notes all bend down to the adjacent scale note below with the exception of the G (bends down to E) and the left-hand C (bends down to A). Blow notes don't sound in normal playing but there are overblows on every hole, slide-in and out, which give these notes: C#,D# - F,F# - G#,A# - C#,C  (they are repeatable in all octaves).


Full Chromatic Scale with Overblows

All Draw-Bending Soul Machine!

NEW INDIAN HARMONICA - First Steps with the AsiaBend

Basic Scales and Simple Phrases

Buying Advice

Remember: THIS IS AN ALL-DRAW HARMONICA. No blow notes at all! (Think of it as the opposite of a saxophone or flute, which are all-blow instruments. There ARE blow reeds inside, but they don't make a sound if you try to blow - they only act to allow the draw reeds to bend). Please make sure you understand this principle before you order. The videos show how it's done.

This amazing new harmonica won't break the bank! You can get all that note bending soul for just £80 (about USD$100), including International Tracked Postage. That's very little to spend to get yourself an incredible new sound using your existing draw-bending skills. The AsiaBend makes ANY melody sound great - try it and hear for yourself!

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).

All prices INCLUDE International Shipping with Tracking.

The AsiaBend

Key of C

£80


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The AsiaBend

BUYERS' COMMENTS

" The AsiaBend is fabulous and I hope to learn a few good tunes on it. It's a lot more intuitive than I thought it would be. "

Steve Watne, USA (August 2016)
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