The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
Lizzy
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Lizzy » Mon May 21, 2018 6:49 pm

Is the sanding jig to Seydel Slipslider rawparts for sale yet?

harpdog123
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Re: Easttop SlipSlider?

Post by harpdog123 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:11 pm

Is an Eastop SlipSlider in the works? I'm sold on the brand and the price!

Best Regards!
David Pearce

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Brendan
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Brendan » Wed May 23, 2018 5:20 am

Hi Lizzy - yes, I've designed and made it, you can see it in the Seydel assembly video from 22:00:

https://youtu.be/GWBCzDFUQLE

It will fit all Seydel 1847 combs: standard, and both types of SlipSlider.

You can see it on offer at a reduced price (30% off) if bought with the Raw Parts Kit here:

http://www.brendan-power.com/SlipSlider ... iderSeydel

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Brendan
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Brendan » Wed May 23, 2018 5:29 am

The Lucky 13 SlipSlider is in the works, and will come in both Richter and PowerBender/PowerDraw versions.

An Easttop version is coming too. They all have their quirks snd it takes time to get each one optimised, plus I'm working on other unrelated stuff at present, so they will take a little time.

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Brendan
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SlipSlider Playing Impressions

Post by Brendan » Wed May 23, 2018 11:21 pm

Those of you who have a SlipSlider: how is it working out for you, now that you've played it for a while?

My feeling after I first got it working was "Wow, if I was a player of the unvalved Richter harmonica, why would I go back to playing a standard harp after experiencing this wonderful extra bending expression?". And now with PowerBender (again talking about the un-valved model), I'd far rather play the SlipSlider version than a straight un-valved PowerBender. I would really miss those extra bends and chromaticism!

But perhaps my impression is coloured by the fact I'm a naturally curious person who enjoys trying new things... Many harp players are the opposite: they actually take pride in being resolutely traditional, aiming to play exactly like past masters such as Little Walter, Sonny Terry etc, and look upon alt tunings and non-traditional harps with deep suspicion.

I also have a good practical knowledge of musical theory to help me learn new tunings or explore the possibilities a harp like the SlipSlider offers pretty quickly. Again, that's not typical: many harp players have little idea of theory, they just play what they learn from records but don't have a clue about chords, scales, harmony.

This probably gives me a 'blind spot' regarding how I think something I create will be appreciated. That was brought home to me when a couple of harp-playing friends I gave SlipSliders to try were quite flummoxed by it. I explained it carefully, and thought it would be such a simple concept to grasp that anyone could be racing around in no time. But I was wrong - they were totally stumped!

One of them, a very speedy technical player, could not get around the idea that the top octave with the left-shift was now exactly the same as the middle octave. He was so used to the reversed breathing pattern up there that he physically couldn't play the identical same easy stuff as he did in the middle octave - it just came out a mess. I explained it several times, and we found a lick he played all the time in holes 4-6, then I said: "Now just play that favourite middle octave lick of yours in the top holes with exactly the same breath/mouth movements". Apparently he understood it intellectually, but his body refused to cooperate - it reverted to the reversed breathing pattern, even though that was patently the wrong thing to do.

This took me aback! I realised that something I thought was a no-brainer was in fact massively confusing for other people.

So... I'm keen to hear from others. If the SlipSlider has been confusing for you, even to the point of not wanting to play it, please tell me! Your experiences will help me learn how to explain better. Perhaps I need to record short simple exercises to give people a way in - stuff like that. Also any playing, ergonomic impressions, positive or negative, would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Brendan

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Brendan
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Neoprene Strips for Grip

Post by Brendan » Wed May 23, 2018 11:24 pm

I think I've found the perfect grip solution. I tried many things, and have settled on 1mm neoprene foam adhesive strips that can be stuck on the top and bottom covers. They give excellent grip without being bulky , and can be repositioned many times if desired without losing adhesion. They don't mark the covers and can be removed altogether whenever you want.

All new SlipSliders will be supplied with them.

CrawfordEs
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by CrawfordEs » Thu May 24, 2018 12:11 am

I did E6000 pads for a grip. Not impressed.
I thought the idea of the SlipSlider at first was amazing.
My first experience using it, not so much.
Ok now try this. The amazing came back. (Mine is PR)
Practice a scale or 2 (boring right?, not now)
C scale all the way up and back. Easy, no slide.
Now play a Bb scale CDEbFGABb.... cool blow bends.
Now I’m trying to learn a piece of Turkish music. It’s sort of in C, but all the Es and Bs are
Flat. It’s very Cool.
For those of us without Brendan’s skill or knowledge it’s kind of an overload.
But when I picked one piece of music that would have been impossible for those of us who cannot even spell over-blow to try to play, and now the SlipSlider is amazing again . Cool new possibilities.
I’m not sure if it will completely replace half valving for me.
For now my biggest problem and thought is which Lucky 13 model to get when they come out.
PowerDraw or ....?

Roverharp
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Roverharp » Thu May 24, 2018 5:56 am

The good - This harp's innovations are great in that they are what i would call transparent. By this i mean that you can play it as you would a totally stock harp and only employ the new bends when you want to. It's not like changing a tuning from standard Richter where the new note is always present. Perhaps this should be emphasized to first time users. I like diving right into the new features but for those who feel reluctant to mess around with what they already know - you don't have to. Just take the new features in small bites. Maybe only drop a couple of Draw 8 bends throughout the night and when you feel like you're losing your footing just relax your grip and Bam! your harp snaps back to good old Richter.

This harp wails. The new bends can be as strong as the traditional ones.

The bad - haven't yet found a grip that I like. Anxious now to try the neoprene.

Playing tips and curiosities - Brendan mentioned in a video but I think it bears repeating that you need not shift back every time you use one of the new bends. Depending on the phrase you might shift early and be able to complete the phrase while just staying in a shifted position. Sometimes a little thinking ahead is required. For example, if you know a Hole 8 draw bend is coming and you're moving up the scale you're probably better off shifting when you play Blow 7. Shifting on the fly won't interfere with the Blow notes and you are then well set up to hit the new Draw 8 bend. In fact, it can be problematic to wait to shift . If your breath activates the reed before the shift it will hit the partition as is crosses over into the next chamber. So far this has only caused an occasional unpleasant sound but I wonder if it could damage the swinging reed or knock it off center.

Has anybody investigated the timing of shifts? Is it good practice to always do them at the same point in a run or is it phrase dependent?

Some unbent notes sound stronger/crisper when shifted. I'm not sure what 's going on there. Maybe something to do with the pitch and interaction of the two reeds in the chamber.
Last edited by Roverharp on Thu May 24, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Brendan
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Brendan » Thu May 24, 2018 7:34 am

Thanks so much to Crawforde and Roverharp for your impressions. That level of detail is really useful.

The main lesson I take away from it is that, if 'early adopters' like you two found it tricky to learn in the early stages, I need to explain and demonstrate the SlipSlider in small, easily absorbed steps for the general player. Instead of big sweeping licks, just start one new bend at a time and show how it can be incorporated into stuff that is normal on a standard Richter harp. Probably also include TAB?

The "plan ahead and shift early" advice is good. After a while that becomes instinctive, but it takes a bit of time to remember.

If or when you two feel comfortable showing what you are playing on the SlipSlider in a recording, I'd love to hear it.

Would you be OK with me putting up your comments on a Feedback page for the SlipSlider? Reports from users of the plusrs and minuses will give a more balanced, realistic impression to prospective buyers than just me extolling its virtues. I'll gladly add a weblink of your choice (your website, FB page or whatever you wish).

That 1mm neoprene adhesive sheet can be bought on eBay USA. Here is a link:

https://m.ebay.com/itm/12x-Black-Foam-G ... SwpINaH6bH

And here is some tape that's more sandpaper-like (haven't tried this myself, but it's used for fingerboards so must be effective):

https://m.ebay.com/itm/YOU-PICK-FINGERB ... ZnPsxiSmfQ

Anyway I'm happy to post out some strips of what we have to you guys as thanks for your feedback. Please send your details to:

feedback@brendan-power.com

And explain the context for David, my buddy who looks after orders. Thanks!

Roverharp
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Re: The SlipSlider - a Revolutionary Blues Harp.

Post by Roverharp » Thu May 24, 2018 1:03 pm

Haha. My kid plays with those mini fingerboards. Just yesterday I was looking to nick some of the sandpaper type. Now I can order from ebay and not upset my kid :)

I think I have a decent understanding of the harp's mechanics and a good grasp om theory so I might have a similar blind spot Brendan. I just
re-watched your instructional video. You smartly start with the mid octave blow bends. I think these are easier to grasp and assume the top octave draw bends are where most people get tripped up. This would be due to the fact the nice new Draw 8 bend is actually executed in Hole 7. Maybe we even need to have an agreed upon nomenclature for this. I myself have stopped to think whether I should type 'Draw 8' or Draw 7. Would addressing the Blow and Draw bends in seperate videos be of any benefit?

I'll try to get some playing examples recorded.

Feel free to post my comments in the feedback section Brendan. I one of a handful of holdouts from the Facebook black hole so I don't have any page to link to. My name is Paul Bowering from Canada or simply Roverharp :)

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