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!
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
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).
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