12-String vs 6-String


View Full Version : 12-String vs 6-String

07-05-2007, 12:16 AM
whats the point of a 12-string guitar? they dont seem very common, so that makes me think they are more used for only selected songs. is that true? would they sound just fine/better/worse just playing some chords and stuff? so what differences do 12-string guitars offer that 6-string doesn't have?

if any of you own a 12-string or have played one, what model did you play and what are your thoughts about them?

07-05-2007, 12:22 AM
they make the sound of strumming so much more fuller and "large", plus they sound cool when you pick them, i want one, i like them.. a lot

Sun Rype Orange
07-05-2007, 12:24 AM
A 12-string guitar, doubles where a normal string would resided with a coiled, and straight, such as the first three string on a guitar, strings. This allows for a nice twang, for a classic example see Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, and the strings present a small natural chorus. I've played a few, not sure about the actual model, but the brands were as follows an Alvarez, Martin, and Ovation.

12-strings sound amazing, or so I feel, and a beauty for the ear, however most annoying to tune, and are meant for rythym playing, their chords are just, mhmm... Good.

07-05-2007, 12:26 AM
yes super annoying, i had to restring one and clean it at work experience, it took me like 2 hours.

07-05-2007, 01:19 AM
do you need a certain type of tuner? i have a 7 string guitar and 6 string bass tuner with up to 5 halfstep flat thingy. when a string is properly tuned it says "6E, 5A, 4D etc." sooo i'm curious if it will pick up those added 6 strings.

i guess if/when i go try out a 12string i'll just bring along my tuner.

also it looks like the space between strings is smaller, this true? sems like it would make fingerpicking with just flesh much harder, seems like you need nails to fingerpick effectively on a 12 string. this true?

Sun Rype Orange
07-05-2007, 03:20 AM
As the tuner the strings are doubled except for the G I think, so its something like EE BB GA DD AA EE for standard tuning and you pick the double string as if it was a single, its not that hard just seems more difficult when viewed.

07-05-2007, 05:15 AM
I haven't actually played one, but I think only the pairs are closer together and that the tuning is the same as an electric for the first string in each pair. The second string in each pair is an octave higher than the first except for the top string which is the same as the first string in the highest pair because otherwise the string would break too easily (I think).

07-05-2007, 07:52 AM
do you need a certain type of tuner?

Nah, any chromatic tuner will do.

As the tuner the strings are doubled except for the G I think, so its something like EE BB GA DD AA EE

The 'twin' of each string is tuned to the same note as the strings of a 6 string guitar (Ee Aa Dd Gg Bb Ee). With the 4 thickest strings, the 'twin' is tuned an octave higher. With the 2 thinnest the 'twin is tuned to the same note.

To the original poster, check out some of John Butler's stuff to see wat can be done on a 12 string.

07-05-2007, 09:28 AM
I bought a 12-string last week. You can fingerpick just fine with it. Listen to my recording of Dust In The Wind (just the intro, slow tempo), there's a 12 string with a classical guitar.


07-05-2007, 12:32 PM
To the original poster, check out some of John Butler's stuff to see wat can be done on a 12 string.

oh yeah i know all about JBT, thats actually what provoked my questions, he's amazing, and i'm currently learning his song Ocean.... on my 6-string though.

if i recall correctly, in all of John Butlers videos i've seen he doesn't use that 2nd G string, anyone know why this is?

07-05-2007, 03:05 PM
I've got a twelve string here. I restrung it and cleaned it once.

Terrible time. Annoying, lengthy...

However, once you make it through the trial your ears are exposed to truly beauteous sound. It's definitely worth it (sometimes).

07-05-2007, 03:12 PM
I actually only have a 12-string acoustic (as far as acoustics are concerned anyways) and am very happy with it. If you take a week or two to get used to it, you can pretty much play anything on a 12-string that you can on a 6-string, with the exception of some bends (bends are harder on a 12-string). I find the only thing that might not sound quite as good on a 12-string is when you're playing solos or that kind of thing, and you cross between the 4 lower strings (which have the normal string and an octave) and the 2 highest (which are two of the same string). This is because you go from dual octave notes, to dual notes of the same pitch, and sometimes the difference can make things sound slightly odd. However! This only happens here and there. It's not that often that it makes much of a difference.

Now, as far as the positives of 12-string go, there are many. If you are good, you can pick either the normal note, or just the octave (not both strings at the same time!), letting you hit some really high notes without even having to move. The sound is sooo much fuller. It's pretty beautiful. Open chords sound great. Bar chords still sound good. If you play any riffs with some open strings, they can sound sooo wonderful. You just have to try one out and feel it for yourself I guess.

Oh, and most people thing they'd hurt your fingers. However, in general, the pressure is distributed over more string (surface area) and it actually doesn't bother you much at all. They really aren't hard to get onto.

Click my name in my sig for a link to a song I recorded the first night I bought my 12-string, and you'll see how easy they can be to get onto, and how great they can sound.

Riley F.
07-05-2007, 04:13 PM
hey i have a 12 string a 6 string and a electric.12 string is hard to fingerpick and most of the time a little all around harder. i would not recomend to begginers but it is fun it adds more depth to the music. i Have a sigma and it sounds pretty good. I f your into mostly a coustic and you are considering buying a 12 string i would not i would just buy a custom high quality acoustic.

-------------------------Your fellow guitarist----------------------------------------------------------

07-05-2007, 06:30 PM
Play one and you'll love it

One Way Ticket
07-05-2007, 08:09 PM
I own one. It sounds wonderful, but I don't need it. It'll be on eBay in a week for dirt cheap.

07-05-2007, 08:36 PM
if i recall correctly, in all of John Butlers videos i've seen he doesn't use that 2nd G string, anyone know why this is?

I'm pretty sure it's because it allows for more intricate solo's using the G without it breaking. Good luck with ocean, that's my favorite song of his to play.