But what if you could somehow move reeds around so that the non-bending reeds were in the same airstream as a lower reed, thus allowing them to bend? That's the concept behind the SlipSlider.
It's made in two separate parts, with the draw reed attached to a sheet of super-slippery Teflon (the space-age food grade plastic coating that lines non-stick fry pans). The two halves of the harp are held together with magnets, which also locate them in the neutral position for normal play. But when you want the extra bend notes, you just slide the draw reedplate a few millimetres to left or right with a small adjustment of your grip.
Slide to the right, and hey presto: you can bend the lower blow notes! 2, 5, 6 and 7 blow are suddenly juicily bendable. The high blow bends remain, so you can play Jimmy Reed style over the top and middle octave. It's really cool and very soulful.
Slide to the left, and now you can bend your high draw notes! 8 and 10 draw now bend like 4 and 6 draw. In fact, you can play the top octave in exactly the same way as the middle octave. Just transfer your favourite middle-octave licks up there with identical bends and breathing patterns – so easy, and so expressive!
Release your grip and the magnets snap the draw plate back to the middle position, for normal harp play with overblows and all the stuff you're used to. The moisture from your breath creates a seal between the two parts of the harp, and it is remarkably airtight – you'll notice no difference between the SlipSlider and a normal out-of-the box Hohner Crossover or Deluxe. Check out the video to hear it in action.
If you are really tech-minded you can go further and buy the loose raw parts and do all the finishing work yourself. We'll release a video shortly on that, but it's really only for harp techs and others who are experienced with making custom harmonicas. If in doubt, buy the assembled new harp or the finished PowerParts.
Tech 2: Assembling Your SlipSlider (PowerParts Assembly Option)