What's up guys? For a while now I've had a guitar gathering dust in my closet, it was my Grandfather or my Uncles I believe. It's about 30 years old.. a Yamaha F12.

It needs quite a bit of work so I have a few questions.

How does a 12 string play differently to a 6 string? Is fretting alot tougher? Is the sound more magical? What's your experiences?

How much would you say it would be to get it "done up?" The fretting might need a bit of work. I'll definitely need some new tuners and strings. I've no idea how much it costs to get fret work done.

Thanks if you can help.

- Gee.


Could you guys recommend some must-learn songs on a 12 string? Thanks!
If it's been sitting unused for that long, a checkup by a good technician is a good idea. It may have been dried out, or the neck may be in need of adjustment from having all that 12-string tension for so long.
12s can be a lot of fun; great for folkie strumming (listen to the Byrds) and can be effectively used for more complex stuff as well. Roy Clarke used to play "Malaguena" on a 12, and Leo Kottke is famous for his 12-string work.
i cant help you with songs but . . . . .

since a 12 string has 2 octaves of every string, you get a much wider or bigger sound from a 12 as apposed to a 6, they also have more high frequencies but isnt completely bass less. Fretting the strings is a bit more difficult and there is a lot more pain involved with the string digging into your fingers, but calus' develop and it becomes easier

As for repairs a full fret job from my local luthier would set me back anything from £50-£150 depending on how bad it is, tuners will set you back maybe another £100 and strings you can get for about £15
Wanted Dead or Alive from Bon Jovi is the signature 12-string riff. EVERYONE knows it.

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I have a 12. sounds really nice. A little tougher to play, but SO worth if for the sparkle and harmonic complexity. won't be cheap for a refret. but must learn songs, Dead or Alive Bon Jovi. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd Hotel California by the Eagles.
It's great once you get comfortable with it. (If you can) You'll be able to solo the heck out of that thing, (If that is indeed your thing haha). It's a wonderful instrument in its own right and shouldn't be limited to just strumming chords or arpeggios. If you've got the strength then (cliché YOU GOT THE POWAA!
A well set up 12 should not be massively more difficult to play than a six-string. A lot of them are inexpensive and not well set-up and as a result have high actions which get worse due to all the extra string tension.
A quality instrument, built to take the tension, and set up properly, should be no more difficult to play than say, a mandolin.
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my husband's been teaching himself that on his gibson 12 string. it's an amazing little tune

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Other than having a wider neck and making yer fingers like hammer-heads...it's all good! Switching back to a scrawny necked electric is a real treat. The doubling of the strings takes a bit more pressure; but as bikewer sez... it takes a good set-up...sometimes difficult at best due to the tension.

12's have an almost mystical sound. If well built, set up and played; they will ring like a bell. While there *are* some newer genres using a 12, most of the tunes out there that just sound right are old-folkies and 60's folk-rock; ala`Byrds.

As for tunes....
Find some of Gordon Lightfoot's work here on the tabs lookup. Most of his work was written and played on the 12 and is familiar as such. Next most common would be McGuinn and/or the Byrds.

Last edited by deltaten at May 8, 2011,
i agree, also, running the scales on a 12 string acoustic can drastically increase your spped on an electric.
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my husband's been teaching himself that on his gibson 12 string. it's an amazing little tune

yup, awesome tune for sure.