Author Topic: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?  (Read 10469 times)

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Offline Gnarly He Man

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Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« on: May 05, 2016, 11:50:46 PM »
Hello patient and loving fans of the harmonica.
I have the only slide version of the Roger Myerson tuning "PentaBender", it's been in a box for a while--I retuned my 260 LeGato and then neglected it.
But no more, I have discovered it is worth of my attention.
PentaBender is an offshoot of the Newton Fourkey, a diatonic tuning that Jazmaan has mastered as a slide instrument (at least I think he's got it down pretty good). I tried that; in fact, I have a set of plates for my Vern Smith Hands Free Chromatic Harmonica that are still tuned that way.
But that's going to change! I will be retuning them to PentaBender, and here's why.
Although PentaBender is definitely a diatonic tuning, it has a whole step bend on every hole, and so as such is capable of chromatic play. With the slide version, that is also possible with the button. In fact, there are enharmonics for every note except B, C#, E and F#.
Hey, see attached chart.
Every hole has the same pattern. That's right, just like holes 1 and 3, or every hole on a diminished or augmented horn.
Four notes per hole.
Lots of enharmonics, as you will see.
I am going to practice a bit before I record any examples, so that perhaps I will taken more seriously. Suffice it to say, I can already play this, due to its similarity to a Brendan Power tuning, Power Chromatic.
That's all for now!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 11:54:25 PM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 11:12:51 PM »
Hi again--
Had a great gig today, strolling at the "Gator By the Bay" music festival here in San Diego, playing harmonica and guitar along with a guy who plays button accordion and trombone--he also plays steel guitar, which earned him the name "Steelbone", bestowed by the somewhat revered Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers.
What worked the best was the Hands Free Chrom in Orchestra Bebop, which made me rethink sinking time into the PentaSlider (only so much time, kids).
The virtues of the tuning as a slide instrument are virtually the same as Power Chromatic as a slide instrument--and that tuning is easier to convert from solo, waaaay easier. Please see chart.
So I am thinking pentabender as a diatonic instrument might get used more than a PentaSlider. I used the pentabender a little bit today too, but the prize winner was the Hands Free Chrom. I hope to have video to share, Tim had a friend recording us.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 11:26:44 PM by Gnarly He Man »

jazmaan

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 02:01:16 AM »
Cool. I am still trying to wrap my head around the idea of a Legato Twin Chrome but a slide Pentbender also sounds interesting.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 02:09:09 AM »
Say the word and I will send you mine to try!
As I recall, you were able to navigate the PentaBender pretty well when you tried it at NAMM.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Slide Version of the Power Chromatic with tonic chord in first octave
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 07:35:53 PM »
I just dug the slide PowerChromatic that I had previously tuned (from a refurbished 260, like the PentaSlider--thanks to John Frazer for allowing me to make use of all those broken 260s!).
I had retuned the bottom to allow me to play a tonic chord, and it sounds great! See chart.
So now I am considering retuning a better harmonica to this for solo harmonica--it has I, IV and V (although the IV and V are 6 chords, if you careful, you can omit the added note {and no V7, oh well}), so I could loop chords and play over them.
Granted the harp would be limited to one key, it would be fully chromatic.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 07:39:58 PM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Oh, it's a Whitelight harmonica!
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 10:13:55 PM »
Oh man--I know you guys think I'm crazy, but the truth is, I'm just a little obsessed--not like the rest of you . . .
Anyway, I recently traded chromatics with Gary L. (the other one, AKA Whitelight)--he got an SCX-48 in C and I got a perfectly good, like new, 280.
Well, I am almost finished converting it to the tuning I referenced in the last post--so there is a BIG draw C on the bottom (hole dot 1, dot 2, and dot 3), as well as matching F and G chords on hole three, four and five--and the rest of the harp is Brendan's Power Chromatic.
It's gonna be just fine, sure I ruined it for anyone else but I can play it, and plan on it--as in, on stage, in public, on television (OK, I'm going to have to practice before I do that), online (that might take a couple of days too)--in short, I think it turned out splendidly.
Since it is a unique tuning, I am naming it in honor of the guy who helped me realize my dream--thanks, bro!
It's done, but will need fine tuning in the next few days--in the meantime, I will spend some time playing it. I think the first tune I will demo is My Girl--I can loop it, and all the parts are easy to get down cold. Might have that by next week.
And it's coming to SPAH, ya sure!
Thanks for your attention and, hopefully, understanding.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2016, 12:15:29 AM »
Had a great gig today, strolling at the "Gator By the Bay" music festival here in San Diego, playing harmonica and guitar along with a guy who plays button accordion and trombone--he also plays steel guitar, which earned him the name "Steelbone", bestowed by the somewhat revered Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers.
<snip>
I hope to have video to share, Tim had a friend recording us.

And here is that video--enjoy!


Edit--not much harmonica--I didn't edit the video!
There is a solo on the Hands Free in Bb at 4:15--I had no idea it was coming, we didn't rehearse for this engagement--he says, "Go Gary", and I go.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 12:20:51 AM by Gnarly He Man »

oldstudent

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2016, 06:25:52 PM »
I thought about ordering a slide-pentabender from Seydel on their Configurator, but I had one concern about the design:
When we add a slide to raise the pentabender tuning up a semitone, we get three holes per octave where the slide-in draw note is actually a semitone higher than the slide-out blow note of the next hole to the right.  Maybe this is just a theoretical issue, and I don't know whether this would actually create difficulties for players in practice or not.
This over-hang issue does not arise in the Legato, but it does in other pentatonic tunings.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 12:37:27 AM by oldstudent »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 10:55:45 PM »
I don't see it.
There is a whole step difference between blow and draw on all holes, therefore blow button is the note between them and the slide draw note is a minor third above the blow with button out--on all holes.
Am I missing something?

oldstudent

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 12:34:20 AM »
In the PentaSlider chart that you posted on May 5, the button-in draw note of hole 1 (Eb) is higher than the button-out blow note of hole 2 (D).  Similarly the button-in draw note of hole 3 (Ab) is higher than the button-out blow note of hole 4 (G), and the button-in draw note of hole 4 (Bb) is higher than the button-out blow note of hole 5 (A).
Perhaps you might not consider such overhangs to be problem.  Indeed they also occur in the Power Chromatic chart that you posted on May 8.  But they don't occur in slide chomatics with Legato or augmented or standard solo tuning. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 12:36:23 AM by oldstudent »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2016, 01:06:03 AM »
Oh, I see.
No, those sorts of things don't bother me. That's what happens when adjacent blow hole notes are a whole step apart; as you say, just like Brendan's tuning.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 03:37:12 AM »
I'm fickle.
I have half a mind (you knew that part) to convert the Whitelight (the 280 which listmember Whitelight traded to me) to a PentaSlider.
It's just too key centric for me.
Watch this space (keep watching . . . . .)

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 10:37:17 PM »
Well, I put a lighter spring into it, and have decided to leave it as is for a bit--I have some work to do on OPH (Other People's Harps) that I really should put my time into--besides, it's pretty cool really!
Oh, and the thing I do on the hole that has the discrepancy--Oldstudent referred to it thusly:
Quote
When we add a slide to raise the pentabender tuning up a semitone, we get three holes per octave where the slide-in draw note is actually a semitone higher than the slide-out blow note of the next hole to the right.
The E note gets played as only a draw note button out when I proceed up the chromatic scale, and that's the only note I am playing on that hole--and going down, I do something else, but I treat it the way we treat hole 4 on the standard tuned chrom, you only need the one note (B).
Of course, I am not referring at this point to the May 5 document, but rather the May 9th one, as this instrument is tuned to the four hole per octave tuning, and that is the only place the anomaly occurs.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 10:42:31 PM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 10:17:45 PM »
Back to the original thread--evidently the answer to the question is, "When they pry it out of his cold dead fingers."

Just retuned the LeGato plates I had stashed as replacements for my Vern Smith Hands Free Chromatic Harmonica (which usually houses plates in, wait for it, Orchestra Bebop) to the Slide Version of the PentaBender.

So I will put a little time into this one . . .

I decided to go with the key of D, starts on G, blow plate is G pentatonic and draw is A pentatonic.

The HFC is so airtight that it's easy to draw bend for the accidentals--that is a wonderful thing.

If I get attached to the tuning, the Whitelight harp is going to follow it down that dark road . . .

Mmmwhahahahaha . . . .

jazmaan

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2016, 10:54:29 PM »
Bring it to SPAH!   My Twin LeGato is somewhere in Los Angeles now - soon to be delivered!

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2016, 12:40:39 AM »
My Twin LeGato is somewhere in Los Angeles now - soon to be delivered!
I was wondering about that--we are all waiting with bated breath!

oldstudent

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2016, 12:05:41 AM »
Unfortunately I cannot come to SPAH this year, but I am planning to be in Pasadena for a couple of months this fall.  I hope then we can have a meeting of the pentatonic harmonica players in Southern California!  I'll bring my threekey harps as well as the fourkeys.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 12:08:22 AM by oldstudent »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 01:26:14 AM »
I recently dug up the 260 PentaSlider and pmailed Roger, offering to let him try it.
And what I realized is that it might be more intuitive if the slide lowered the notes, simulating the bending action normally experienced on the diatonic version--see attached.

jazmaan

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 02:22:18 PM »
Had a very nice visit here in L.A. from Roger Myerson and his family.   He brought along a Chromatic Pentaslider crafted by Gary Lehman from a 10-hole Hohner Chromonica.    And he left it with me to try out.  (Gary if you want it back,  maybe I'll see you at the winter NAMM in Anaheim?)   

Anyway I am very much enjoying this harp.  Its very similar to Fourkey, but the notes and chords seem even more intuitivly placed for easy playing by ear.   I suppose the original point of diatonic Pentabender, to have every note bendable, is lost on a fully valved Chromatic though.   

The Pentaslider does have one little incongruity in what Roger calls the "overhang", a regressive movement where, for example, the note at 2 draw slide-in is a half- step higher than the note at 3 blow slide-out.   Ideally every note in a higher hole would sound higher than or at least equal to any note in the lower previous hole.   Those "overhangs" at various points on the harp  take a little getting used to, but they really don't bother me too much.  Just a little quirky.   

After just a few minutes I was playing quite comfortably by ear with various jazz standards.   I particularly like playing in the key of Ab on this C harp.

I'm so enamored of this tuning that I've just ordered a Seydel Deluxe Steel Pentaslider!  It will be nice to have it in 12 hole.  Gary's 10-hole is a bit range constricted for a pentatonic tuning.  I didn't order Gary's "Flat-Side" idea.   But I will try that out on my DM-48 and report back.   
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 02:31:57 PM by jazmaan »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2017, 04:01:27 PM »
Had a very nice visit here in L.A. from Roger Myerson and his family.   He brought along a Chromatic Pentaslider crafted by Gary Lehman from a 10-hole Hohner Chromonica.    And he left it with me to try out.  (Gary if you want it back,  maybe I'll see you at the winter NAMM in Anaheim?)   
So THAT'S where it is--wondered when Roger would answer me back, or return it.
IIRC, you played this unit at NAMM a couple of years ago, dintcha? Sure, I'll take it back, no problem.
BTW, we are at a different booth this year--no longer at 5100, not sure where.

Offline Crawforde

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2017, 04:35:08 PM »
I was thinking about making a pentabender diatonic, I might just do a pentaslide instead now. It sounds like fun.
My plan is to put the finishing touches on my Flatslide Legato today.
I’m trying to decide which Harmonica to actually learn how to play, the flatslide Legato or my C6 flatslide. Either way I think I am sold on the flatslide approach.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2017, 06:28:59 PM »
I’m trying to decide which Harmonica to actually learn how to play

 ??? :-\ :P :-[ >:( ;D

Offline Crawforde

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2017, 07:21:20 PM »
Yep,
Sadly it is easier for me to find time to work in the shop and tinker than I have time to play.
I can carve and sand and solder quietly.
 Cooler weather is here now and so I can play outside and away from the house.

Offline streetlegal

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 07:38:33 AM »
I was thinking about making a pentabender diatonic, I might just do a pentaslide instead now. It sounds like fun.
My plan is to put the finishing touches on my Flatslide Legato today.
I’m trying to decide which Harmonica to actually learn how to play, the flatslide Legato or my C6 flatslide. Either way I think I am sold on the flatslide approach.

That's good to hear 8). The move from sharp slide to flat slide playing was in my experience a lot easier to get used to than even a small change to the standard tuning layout. Flat slide playing felt more intuitive right from the start. This is why I'd like to encourage beginners to at least give flat slide playing a try, just so they know how it feels and that it is an option - whether they play standard solo or one of the many alternate chromatic tunings.

jazmaan

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2017, 11:55:21 AM »
I'll give flat-slide a try on my DM-48.   But on a standard C Pentaslider, what is the advantage?   I usually play my C Pentaslider in Bb, Ab or Eb anyway, so letting out the slide already gives me a flat note.   

By the way, one of the reasons I like Pentaslider as compared to "standard" Fourkey LeGato tuning, is that rhythm changes in Bb seem a lot more natural/intuitive.


Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2017, 12:00:22 PM »
By the way, one of the reasons I like Pentaslider as compared to "standard" Fourkey LeGato tuning, is that rhythm changes in Bb seem a lot more natural/intuitive.
I think it's great that you can intuit one from another--I do a similar thing as PentaBender relates to Power Chromatic.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 10:02:02 PM by Gnarly He Man »

oldstudent

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 10:52:32 PM »
So THAT'S where it is--wondered when Roger would answer me back, or return it.
Sorry, Gary, please forgive my slowness to reply or return the instrument that you were kind enough to share with me.  The past six months have, for me, been one of those periods when life gets in the way of harmonicas. I've played very little, and I admit that there have been many weeks when I even neglected to visit SlideMeister.com.
But when I had a special opportunity to connect with Jazmaan last week, I knew that your chromatic pentabender would be better in his hands than mine.  Indeed, within a few minutes he was able to make it sound pretty good!  I know that he will take good care of your handiwork and explore its potential far better than I ever could.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 11:00:25 PM by oldstudent »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2017, 12:49:00 AM »
Glad you got a chance to check it out, and sorry you aren't getting a chance to play as much as you would like--believe me, I know the feeling . . .

jazmaan

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2017, 04:20:25 PM »
I just got my Seydel Deluxe Steel Pentaslider in the mail!   WOW! ;D   

My first surprise was the new rounded mouthpiece.   I love it!   Much nicer than my previous Seydel Deluxe or Saxony!   So smooth and easy to get around on.

And I like the rest of the harp just as much.  VERY responsive.  Perfectly tuned.  Sounds wonderful.  Great job Seydel!

I'm already to the point with Pentaslider tuning that I don't think I'll be going back to LeGato.   I just love it!   Demos to come soon, I promise!

Offline Crawforde

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Re: Slide Version of the PentaBender--When Will He Quit?
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2017, 04:43:04 PM »
Wow
That’s quite a recommendation!
I’m almost finished retuning a solo to legato.  I’ve wanted to try it for a good while and have started and stopped a bit. I’m just about done now. Just need to fine tune it.
Why do you prefer the slide pentabender  over the legato so much?