Hello, i'm a newbie when it comes to acoustic guitar especially 12 string, I have a question regarding about my instrument.

Since i'm waiting to buy a new acoustic guitar upcoming in a few months, I have the urge to try different tunings on my 12 string. I'm thinking to tune my 12 string from E standard to C6 or open G(i'm learning how to use slide).

However, my worst fear is neck bowing or string breakage(believe me, 12 string sets are expensive on my area).

Will my 12 string acoustic guitar able to handle it? Especially if I tune to the tunings I mentioned?
Last edited by sybalez at Apr 12, 2015,
The golden rule when using alternate tunings is: Tune down, not up. This is especially the case with a 12 string guitar since there is so much more tension on the neck. In fact, if you are using anything higher than 10 gauge strings on your 12er it's a good idea to keep it tuned down a couple of semitones anyway.

To answer your specific question: open G (DGDGBD) will be fine. However I would be wary of tuning a 12er to C6 since most of the (several) versions of the tuning involve some strings being tuned up. If you do go ahead I would recommend substituting a lower tension string for those that tune up.
Quote by Mr.-Bungle
It'll be completely fine.

So I take that as a yes on C6(CACGCE)?
Quote by sybalez
So I take that as a yes on C6(CACGCE)?
It would seem you're taking that as the answer you wanted to hear, therefore it must be the correct answer.

The necks are rarely the problem with a 12 string. The bridges separate, the bodies collapse, the tops sometimes crack, but you can usually salvage the neck for your next guitar. (And the tuning machines, of course).

12 string lights, (.010 to .47), have 250 Lbs of tension at E-e.

12 string mediums, (.012 to ,053), have 300+ Lbs.of tension at concert pitch.

When you consider that "acoustic lights" (6 string ,012 to .053), have only 165 Lbs. of tension, and noobs are constantly whining about them being too hard to push down. Now, do you think it's a good idea to tune a 12 string up to full pitch and beyond? Follow your heart. I don't really care, as it's not my guitar.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 13, 2015,
As Garthman says, always make sure that the net change in down rather than up. So open G - DGDgbd would be OK, but I wouldn't risk GBDgbd. CACGCE would be OK. Or use lighter strings. I would risk higher tensions on resos and electrics than I would on flattops or archtops.
Open D is what I use on my 12's (DAD Gb AD). All changes are downward and you don't have to worry about string gauge. Another thing I do is use a single higher gauge top string for good bass runs, so, 11 string.
I also file down the nut for low action - a *MUST* on 12's.
Tony's recomendation for open G is also really good.
If you need to tune up you can always start by tuning down standard a step or two, tune to open and use a capo (excellent for a 12). Up "3" is then actually up 1.
Last edited by skido13 at Apr 24, 2015,