Brendan Power Signature
Brendan Power
VIEW ALL PRODUCTS >> View Cart
SUZUKI PROMASTER: Luxury Diatonic

Alloy Comb, Phosphor Bronze Reeds, Half-Valved

Key:



£70

REPLACEMENT PADDY RICHTER REEDPLATES

Suzuki have famously durable reeds, but even they will fail after a lot of use. If a reed goes on your Promaster you can save money by buying replacement reedplates instead of the whole harp. The new plates are already in Paddy Richter tuning, and it’s a simple job to swap out the old ones.

Key:



£40





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:



This makes a massive difference to the ease of melody playing on the 10 hole harp. Suddenly tunes that were very hard to play lay out beautifully - including Irish jigs and reels. These are played fast, and it's impossible to get that essential missing note (the 6th of the home scale) accurately at speed via bending. Paddy Richter builds it in to the scale as a simple blow note on hole 3. Suddenly the humble blues harp is transformed into an instrument that can easily keep up with flying fiddles, pipes and flutes at an Irish session!
Here's a famous reel, "The Bucks of Oranmore", played on a Paddy Richter harp in D:

Below is a video demonstrating Half-Valving:



I've written a popular Instruction Book with 55 Track CD demonstrating how to play Irish Music on the 10 hole harp, including Paddy Richter instruction and examples. Click the link for more info and check out the comments on the book/CD and ProMaster harmonicas from many satisfied customers.

PowerComb customer image I've invented many harmonica-related features over the years: original tunings, odd sizes, accessories, and even whole new types (you can read the history of them here).

From day one I was always a harmonica hacker, using simple old-school tools to create specialised custom harmonicas for my own playing. It was out of necessity, as I found the commercially-available harps just didn't do the things I wanted. After a while my personal harps sparked interest from other players, and I started selling custom-made Power Harps online in 2000.

From 2000-2006 I sold a wide selection of innovative hand-customised chromatic and diatonic harps. Many had never been made before, such as the Power CX-10, CX14 and CX-16, the Trad Session Harps for Celtic music, and my Stretch Harps (extended length diatonics). However, the increasing workload meant I was neglecting playing and recording, so I took a break for a while. In 2012 I started X-Reed Harmonicas with Hungarian designer/engineer Zombor Kovacs, to make the best versions of the new extra-reed concept for harmonicas. We both learned a lot from each other. Zombor's influence led me to teach myself CAD (Computer Aided Design), and it has opened up a new world of sophisticated harmonica hacking! Combing CAD with cool new workshop machines has got me excited again about pushing the envelope of harp performance and design.

The advent of affordable small-scale manufacturing technology like CNC machining and 3D Printing means that inventive ideas can be tested and produced very quickly now, to exacting standards, in any home workshop. Using CAD and this new maker technology I'm currently able to realise some long-cherished dreams of harmonica models that were virtually impossible to make previously. It's such a buzz to design bizarre original combs on screen and then quickly see them come out as solid, usable parts that can be incorporated in harmonicas no-one has ever seen before.

Those available to buy will be added to the Harmonicas section of the website. This page shows off some previous custom harps, as well as odd one-offs that never got released.


November 2014 - More photos coming soon! - Bren

ORIGINAL DOUBLE CHROMATIC

I have been trying to make a DoubleChrom for over 20 years, and have laboriously hand-made several prototypes in that time. Here are some photos of my first one, from 1993/94. The string pull is to allow the player to hold in the master slider with their left (holding) hand, while operating the two secondary sliders with their right.



It worked, but not great. Now I have CAD skills, a 3D printer plus laser cutting at my disposal, I have finally been able to realise my dream with a superior patent pending design. Here are five 2014 prototypes.

Some POWER HARPS from 2000-2006




CX10 with Internal Metal Resonators and Slide Hook. A Responsive Blues Chromatic.

My Custom "Stretch Harps": 12 and 14 Hole models with the same hole
spacing as a standard 10 hole diatonic. At last, a comfortable long diatonic.

Bling Bling!! Gold Power CX16. All the convenience of the CX12 in a 4 Octave version

Power CX14

Customised Hohner 364

The cheapie of the Hohner range transformed into a Hot Chrometta!!

Trad Session Harp: Two keys in once chromatic (mostly D/G), for Irish music. No slider spring.


CX12 With Drilled Covers, Internal Metal Resonators and Slide Hook



The PowerBender tuning builds on the best parts of the traditional Richter Tuning, while altering the scale to make the real juicy and important notes much easier to obtain throughout the whole three octave range. If you're interested in a fresh sound on the 10 hole diatonic, LOTS more bending expression and easy jazzy playing, the PowerBender is a good choice for you!

Same familiar breathing pattern in the upper-middle registers. All draw notes bend everywhere, holes 1-10! On the un-valved version you can overblow every hole 1-10, for full chromatic playing. Overdraws and blow bends are no longer possible or needed on a PowerBender - they are replaced with simple draw bends. On the half-valved version, a mix of normal draw bends and valved blow bends gives full chromaticism. Top octave easy to play (intuitive) as many familiar phrasings can be adopted from the bottom octaves Easy to play in the common positions: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, and 12th.

Check out this video where I demonstrate playing in many keys and positions (these are tracks from the book/CD)
Here is a demonstration of my new-generation own-brand PowerBender:

Buying Advice

NEWSFLASH June 2017

I'm now also making the PowerBender in 13-hole 4 octave format, in the form of my unique Lucky 13 harp. It gives you all the benefits of PowerBender/PowerDraw/Paddy Richter (choose one as appropriate), PLUS an extra low octave to extend the range. The Lucky 13 is like two harps in one, excellent value and a very good harp out of the box.
You can buy my own-brand model in five common keys, or you can buy a Seydel PowerBender with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too!

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).

Occasionally packages will be assessed at random by customs in the receiving country; this might add delay and an extra customs charge. This customs charge is not under our control, and is the customer's responsibility to pay. Ordering here means that you understand and accept this possibility

POWERBENDER Book/CD

44 Page Instructional Book with 86 Track CD: £29

You will also receive a download link with all instructional tracks as MP3 files.

International Postage is included in the price.
NOTE: if you buy the book and my own-brand PowerBender, they will arrive in separate packages. You will need the key of A to go with the book.

Add to Cart

Own-Brand POWERBENDER Harps

This is my new generation own-brand model, launched October 2015. Made to my specifications by a reputable Chinese harmonica company, it  has phosphor-bronze reeds, improved reed/slot tolerances, a smooth lipped comb and higher covers to eliminate reed rattle in the low keys. A good introduction to the tuning for those wanting to try PowerBender without breaking the bank.

If you are buying a harp to go with my book, please select the key of A.

International Postage is included in the price

Own-Brand PowerBender: £27
Key:



To the Power of Five!

All five keys for a Reduced Price! - Low F, G, A, C and D

Please include your phone number when you order as this will help with delivery.

Save money by purchasing all five PowerBender harps for £22 each, a saving of £25 total from the cost of buying all separately.

International Postage is included in the price.

All FIVE PowerBender harps - £110

*** C currently out of stock but will be back soon ***



PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image PowerBender Image
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return. In some cases the harps will come in a different box to the one shown here.
Check out the YouTube Video to hear my new PowerBenders in action.

Check out the Philosophy behind the POWERBENDER and see the Tuning Diagram.

See Music and Tab from the 44 page Book for Sixth Position

Hear two Instructional Clips from the CD for 5th Position






If you're interested in incredible draw bending expression in the top octave whilst retaining all the best aspects of a traditional harp in the lower two octaves, the PowerDraw is a good choice for you! Just top off the standard Richter tuning in holes 1-6 with the logical breathing pattern and draw-bending soul of my PowerBender tuning on holes 7-10. It's a win-win! See the detailed description and watch the video below.

You can buy my inexpensive own-brand model in five popular keys (below), or you can buy a Seydel PowerDraw harp with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too. Watch the Seydel Video to understand more about how PowerDraw works, and how easy it is to adapt to for players of standard Richter harps.

POWERDRAW - WHY IT'S SO MUCH FUN!

PowerDraw tuning is a combination of standard Richter (holes 1-6) and PowerBender (holes 7-10). The Best of Both Worlds! It's easy to learn because:
  • The bulk of the harp (holes 1-6) stays exactly the same as normal, so there is no need to re-learn anything in that comfortable range you're so accustomed to.
  • The breathing pattern of holes 1-6 (blow reed low, draw reed high in each hole) is retained all the way up to hole 10 on the PowerDraw! This gives the top octave an instant feeling of familiarity to anyone who tries it, because the techniques and riffs that work so well lower down work up there too (click on "Tunings" tab in GEEK ZONE above to see the scale).
  • Simplified Technique: There are no blow bends and no overdraws needed in the PowerDraw tuning. Two of the most important 'blue' notes in 2nd position (the flat third, which was overblow 6) and the flat fifth (overdraw 7) are now simple draw bends on holes 7 and 8: the octave-up equivalents of the familiar draw bends on holes 3 and 4.
  • Every draw note bends from hole 7-10, soulful and easy! That's right - you can now really WAIL up high on your harp! Plus, in un-valved setup, every hole overblows for chromatic playing, and the upper octave overblows are much easier than the overdraws necessary in Richter tuning.
  • PowerDraw works well with the octave-playing approach of tongue blockers. The notes in the top octave are similar to Richter, but the intervals are slightly different. Octave splitting is actually easier, because both blow and draw notes have a 5 hole split above hole 4. See the Seydel PowerDraw Video for a demonstration.
  • PowerDraw is ideal for Second Position, but works works great in many other positions too, especially Third (nice useful bends in the top octave), Fifth (good expression in the top end), Second Position Minor (no need to overblow to get the flat 3rd ), Eleventh and Twelfth (great expression in the top octave).

Buying Advice

NEWSFLASH June 2017

I'm now also making the PowerDraw in 13-hole 4 octave format, in the form of my unique Lucky 13 harp. It gives you all the benefits of PowerBender/PowerDraw/Paddy Richter (choose one as appropriate), PLUS an extra low octave to extend the range. The Lucky 13 is like two harps in one, excellent value and a very good harp out of the box.

New Own-Brand POWERDRAW Harps

Low F, G, A, C and D

This is my new generation own-brand model, launched October 2015. Made to my specifications by a reputable Chinese harmonica company, it  has phosphor-bronze reeds, improved reed/slot tolerances, a smooth lipped comb and higher covers to eliminate reed rattle in the low keys. A good introduction to the tuning for those wanting to try PowerDraw without breaking the bank.

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).

Occasionally packages will be assessed at random by customs in the receiving country; this might add delay and an extra customs charge. This customs charge is not under our control, and is the customer's responsibility to pay. Ordering here means that you understand and accept this possibility



PowerDraw Harmonica - £27

International Postage is included in the price.

Key:




Buy all Five Keys for a Reduced Price!

Please include your phone number when you order as this will help with delivery.

Save money by purchasing all five PowerDraw harps for £22 each, a saving of £25 total from the cost of buying all separately. The best value package option if you're new to the PowerDraw!

International Postage is included in the price.

All FIVE PowerDraw harps - £110

*** D currently out of stock but will be back soon ***

You can buy a high-quality Seydel PowerDraw harp with stainless steel reeds in any key, and with half-valving option too.


PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image PowerDraw Image
Click to enlarge, click outside the photo to return. In some cases the harps will come in a different box to the one shown here.

The ChromaBender is a brand-new harmonica never seen before, one of my inventions dating back more than 20 years but only now available to buy. It combines the best features of the 12 hole chromatic harmonica and the 10 hole diatonic to create a unique hybrid harp that will appeal to players of both types.

Chromabender
£120 £90 (save 25%!)

Key:








(Hear Sound clips recorded on the C ChromaBender by Al Clark & Randy Weinstein. Check out Randy's interesting discussion of his experiments with the ChromaBender: Randy's music.)


The ChromaBender has the outward appearance of a chromatic but sounds like a diatonic! Its parts (covers, comb, reedplates and mouthpiece) and standard Solo tuning come from the chromatic, so chrom players can play it straight away. But the sound and playability is like that of a 10 hole blues harp! Instead of a slider, the ChromaBender uses internal x-reeds and simple draw and blow bending to give you buckets of soul and full, easy chromatic scales over three octaves.

This unique new harp allows any chromatic player to get bluesy without having to switch to a different tuning or smaller-size harp, and it allows blues harp players to get chromatic using their familiar, easy blow & draw bending technique. Many 10 hole diatonic players like to use a chrom for 3rd position playing. Now they can get those big octave tones plus draw and blow bending on all notes!

I designed the tuning and specialist reedplates for this harp, and chose the Brazilian company Hering to make it. Hering chromatics have very close reed/slot tolerances, and that's important for this triple-reed design. In June 2013 I travelled to the Hering factory in Blumenau, Brazil to work with Hering engineers to create this all-new 36 reed model.

The ChromaBender will open up a whole new harmonica sound as players from both the chromatic and diatonic camps bring their own experience and strengths to create a unique hybrid sound.

The G/D Irish Session Harp is a revival of a harmonica I created for my own Irish playing in 1995. I sold it on my website from 2000-2006 (it was then known as the 'Trad Session Harp'). Now it's available again, re-named, and in two sizes/tunings.

The slider has no spring, and is held in or out with friction. With the slider out the harmonica plays a low D scale in Solo Tuning. Press the slider in and you get a G scale. Two harps in one, G and D: perfect keys for 90% of Irish and Celtic tunes!

I have two versions of the Irish Session Harp: 12 Hole Solo Tuned, and 10 Hole in Paddy Richter tuning. Both are great for Irish music, but the 12 hole on this page will suit chromatic players better, the 10 hole will suit diatonic players more. If you're a diatonic player, go to the Paddy Richter version.

The common way to play Irish tunes is in sets: several tunes one after the other, often with pleasing key changes between them. Normally harmonica players have to switch harps at that point, but having an Irish Session Harp means you can play most Irish sets on the one harmonica! Just move the slider to the opposite position with the flick of a finger and you're in the new key - it's so easy and fast.
Made to my specifications by Hering, the Irish Session Harp is very responsive and easy-blowing.
12 Hole Solo-Tuned Irish Session Harp

Not currently available. We are considering making a new version.




Here are some handy tips to fix sticking valves and enhance airtightness on your slider harmonicas.



The Slide Diatonic is another of my harmonica inventions. I first recorded with it on my 1994 album New Irish Harmonica, and I've used the Slide Diatonic for all my traditional Irish playing ever since. It's now available for the first time to buy, and only on this website.

The Slide Diatonic comes in the two main keys for Irish music, D and G, as well as C (New! see below). The 12 hole is in Solo Tuning (same as standard chromatics), but I have a Paddy Richter 10 hole version also (both Solo and Paddy Richter are equally good for Irish music).

I now have a NEW VERSION of the 12 hole model (May 2015). It's really airtight and comfortable in the mouth, with a smooth slide action. Please check the video below to see the Mk 2 version, and check the earlier video for the Mk 1 model to hear how easily and sweetly the Slide Diatonic adds in-key decorations to the main melody. All the slide decorations are identical in the Mk 2 model, with the added benefit that you can remove some outer valves for extra bending if you wish (demonstrated in the Mk 2 video).

Buying Advice

The Mk 2 model also comes in the key of C, as well as D and G. It will suit players who prefer to use C chromatics normally, as well as add an extra useful key for the G/D players.

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).

Occasionally packages will be assessed at random by customs in the receiving country; this might add delay and an extra customs charge. This customs charge is not under our control, and is the customer's responsibility to pay. Ordering here means that you understand and accept this possibility

Buy One Slide Diatonic in G, C or D, Postage Included
Key:


£120
You really need both G and D Slide Diatonics for Irish music.
Now you can buy the two for a discounted price!

Add to Cart
£200




On the outside it looks like a standard chromatic harmonica, and the home scale with slider-out remains the same. But as soon as you press the slider in, you hear the difference! The slide-in notes sound sweet and tuneful, and slider trills are pleasing to the ear. That's because all the slider notes have been tuned to the home key of the harmonica - hence the name Slide Diatonic. Here is the tuning diagram for a G harmonica:



You can see that the slider raises each note to the next note of the G scale. If you press the slide in on a G blow note, the slide-in note is not G# (as on a normal chromatic harmonica) but A. The same principle applies to all the other slide-in notes.

This gives the player a whole new and more AUTHENTIC sound for playing Irish and other folk music, including Chinese, Scottish, Italian... Most folk melodies around the world stay within a specific mode or scale. Chromatic notes outside that scale tend to sound harsh, because they are inappropriate for the style.

The Slide Diatonic also gives the player lots of enharmonic (same-not choices). Every note of the scale is duplicated in a slide-in note, which allows the player to choose the best option for the music. This can be very helpful in playing fast dance tunes with big jumps.

LEARNING TO PLAY
The 12 hole Solo-tuned Slide Diatonic comes with handy In-Box notes, showing the scales and other useful information. If you want more in-depth playing instruction for Irish music, my existing Book/CD package Play Irish Music on the Chromatic will work well with the 12 hole Slide Diatonic. It gives you all the info and tab for easy exercises and many tunes. Though the CD tracks feature standard chroms in G and D, the slider decorations taught will sound even better on the Slide Diatonic. At some stage I will create a book/CD specially for the Slide Diatonic, but for now that is a very good option.



Here are some handy tips to fix sticking valves and enhance airtightness on your slider harmonicas.

Paddy Richter is the whimsical name I gave to a simple tuning I devised to play Irish music on the 10 hole diatonic harmonica, first recorded on my New Irish Harmonica album of 1994. The standard harp tuning is known as Richter Tuning, the Irish are often affectionately called Paddies... and so Paddy Richter was born.

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.

You can order the same excellent Suzuki Promaster MR-350V Half-Valved harmonicas in Paddy Richter Tuning that I use for Irish Music, in all 12 keys (plus Low F and High G). All harps are hand-retuned and have the outer valves trimmed back to avoid sticking.

video link - Brendan demonstrates Paddy Richter.
Email me Join me on Facebook Join me on Youtube Join me on LinkedIn