People who see it for the first time consider it as weird. Talking about the 12 string, is it really weird? As the name suggests, the guitar comes with 12 strings in six courses. The 12 string guitar comes with a lot of enhancement considering with the 6 string guitar. We will discuss about the advantages of 12 string guitar in the next part of the article. Basically, the lower four courses of a 12 string guitar are tuned in octaves when the upper two courses are tuned in unisons. To make space for all the 12 string, the gap between the two dials are narrow.
The courses are fretted and plucked as they are particular. On the other hand, the neck of the guitar is wider to accommodate the extra strings. You can find it similar to the classical guitar necks. The interesting thing about the 12 string guitar is its music. Normally you will get much harmonic and fuller music than a 6 string guitar in it.
Start Learning How to Play 12 String Guitar by Video Guide
Video Credit: Jamplay Youtube channel
There were great differences between the 12 string guitars now and then. You will find a lot of difference in modern and classical 12 string guitar on changes in the headstock, tension, fretting scale, and the body.
Now let’s move to the main purpose of the article. If you are thinking that 12 string guitar tuning are hard to play then you are wrong. And maybe they are easier than you thought. You will make it much easier for you with a step by step guide in below. Keep reading this article, to know how to play a 12 string guitar and other important information about it.
Advantages of a 12 string guitar
If you a music euthanasic then you may hear the “Hotel California” song which was released as a single in 1977. You will be amazed to know that the song contains a lot of intros that was done with a 12 string guitar. There are some other popular songs like “Ticket to ride – the Beatles”, “Wish you were here – Pink Floyd”, “Free falling – Tom Pretty” which has music of 12 string guitar.
Now let us talk about the benefit of a 12 string guitar. It is true that the 6 string guitars are much preferred amongst the guitar lover in general. That is normally because of the expensive price of it. The 12 string guitar comes with a lot of advantages. Some of them are given in below:
- The 12 string guitar can offer you a better combination of the sound of the high and low octaves sound which is much pleasing.
- The 12 string guitar can produce a wide variety of sound comparing to the 6 string guitar.
- It can produce a much louder sound than the 6 string guitar.
- The 12 string guitar creates a much dramatic sound with it jangling sound.
- It is well-matched with a wide selection of music genre.
- The 12 string guitar is a perfect choice as a solo instrument.
How to play a 12 string guitar?
The 12 string is guitar is not hard but it is not easy too. Some people things that the 12 string guitar is playable as like as 6 string guitar. That is totally wrong. Especially you will find it problematic in the time of pairing of strings when fretting. You can simply fret on a six string guitar using your fingerprint. But in the 12 string guitar, you will need to adjust your form along with playing with the fingertip. You will need to put a slight arc on your finger for pairing notes and fretting.
As you are going to learn 12 string, a friendly reminder for you is the 12 string guitars also contain the sound of a 6 string guitar. If you have experience and going to learn 12 string guitar than this guide will be perfect for you. At first, you will need to start with one single tone. It will take time to be comfortable with the 12 string guitar. As soon as you start feeling comfortable with it, you can move to fretted pairs of the string using your middle finger and the forefinger.
You can move the two note shape around. It is the best trick to achieve a better comfort for the odds of a paired string. After you become comfortable with it, you can move to the third with the help of the ring finger and move the shape around.
The 12 string and 6 string guitar have the same strings notes.
The difference is the notes are doubled. Such as instead of E, A, D, G, B, E you will get E, E, A, A, D, D, G, G, B, B, E, E. As an example, we can talk about the G Major chord. In the 12 string guitar, the note struck will be same (G, B, D, G, B, G) as the 6 string guitar.
So now we can say that you can simply fret the third fret of low E string pair using your middle finger, then the A second fret of A string using your forefinger, and the third fret of High E string pair with your ring finger. The B, G, D strings can be played as open notes.
From the above discussion, you may understand that all of the songs can be played as like as before. All you need to consider the way you fret the string. To start learning the 12 string guitar, what you can do is start learning with few of your favorite 12 string guitar songs.
How to tune a 12 string guitar
Tuning a 12 string guitar is a little bit complicated than a regular 6 string guitar. That is because there are more tension and strings on it. Sometimes you will need to tune a 12 string guitar several times to get the right tune.
The first two string of a 12 string guitar is high E and the B string which are unison pair. They sound like same not while stuck as like as the same note on the first and second string of a typical guitar. The next 4 string pairs are in octaves. Though they had the same note in name, there will be two different notes. The string 3a is as like as the G string on a regular guitar. On the other hand, the 3b note is tuned in G note and it is also an octave.
There is a common problem that may occur while playing 12 string guitars is the higher octave G string prone to breakage. That happens because of the higher tension to reach the high pitch. The way of solving this problem is given below.