#1
Hey Guys, Im new here and have just bought a 12 string Acoustic Guitar. I have no idea how to tune it. I have heard something about the 4 lower string are tuned on octave lower, but I have no idea what that means. Is it possible to tune a 12 string with a electric guitar tuner like A Korg GA-30? If so, Could someone explain to me how? Thankyou ahead for any help.

Anthony.
#2
I believe it's tuned like a normal guitar, so EADGBe, but with every other string being the same as the one before but just an octave above. So:

EeAaDdGgBbee

I think anyway...I think you're tuner will need to be chromatic too
#4
the way i have always known to tune a 12 string is the standard guitar strings are standard tuning and the thin guage strings are tuned half a step down so it goes like this

EADGBe
EbAbDbGbBbeb

b = flat
Gear

Guitars - Fender Deluxe Player Strat, Squier Affinity Strat, Ibanez TCM - 50

Amps - Fender Blues Deluxe

Effects - Boss ME-50

Other - Banjo


Jazz Is not music, Its a way of life
#6
A 12 string guitar has the same 6 strings that a 6 string guitar has but each string has a 'twin'. On the 4 lowest strings (EADG) the twin is tuned an octave above, on the 2 highest strings the twin is tuned to the same pitch.
Regarding the G string's twin, some people tune it an octave up and others tune it to the same pitch.
#7
^ Correct. The thinner of each pair of strings on a 12 string are called the "Octave String" for good reason. They are tuned to the same note as it's twin, just 1 octave higher in pitch. This will hold true until you get to the B and high E strings, which will be tuned in unison, no octave.
The easiest way to tune up a 12 stringer is to completely tune all the "normal" strings, i.e., the fatter ones, all to standard tuning, EADGBe. Then to tune up the octave strings, do the following:
Start at the low E string and fret it at the 12th fret, now tune the low E octave string to that note. It'll take you a little while to do because the strings are close together, and you want to be fretting ONLY the fat, low E string, not it's thin twin. But you do want to be able to hear each string as you tune up. Patience is called for at this point. Tune the octave string up until it is the same note as the low E string fretted at 12 fret, with no warbling, wavering sound.
Then just repeat the above procedure for the paired A's, D's and G's. You can just tune the paired of the B and high E the same as you would a standard 6 stringer.
When done you will have 8 strings all tuned to standard, and the 4 octave strings of the EADG strings up 1 octave, also to EADG.
It this doesn't make sense, excuse me, I just woke up a bit ago and haven't had my second cup of coffee yet.
#8
Thanks for your help you guys. I think Im starting to understand a little better. Im just hoping I don't tune the octave string up too high and break them.. lol. So, There is no way my Korg GA-30 could help me out with the tuning? Does it have to be the chromatic CA-30? I ask because Ive been playing The 6 string acoustic for maybe 5 yrs. now and I rely on the tuner to tune my guitar. I cant tune a 6-string by ear at all. lol. Do you think it would be worth it buying a CA-30 to help me out. I can't try tuning my guitar now because it's still shipping from Sam Ash, but I guess I'll find out when I get it. Thanks again guys.

Anthony.
#9
wow a whole octave? I never knew that. wouldnt the strings break?
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#10
Quote by AL01412
Thanks for your help you guys. I think Im starting to understand a little better. Im just hoping I don't tune the octave string up too high and break them.. lol. So, There is no way my Korg GA-30 could help me out with the tuning? Does it have to be the chromatic CA-30? I ask because Ive been playing The 6 string acoustic for maybe 5 yrs. now and I rely on the tuner to tune my guitar. I cant tune a 6-string by ear at all. lol. Do you think it would be worth it buying a CA-30 to help me out. I can't try tuning my guitar now because it's still shipping from Sam Ash, but I guess I'll find out when I get it. Thanks again guys.

Anthony.


Hey big A, don't sweat it. I have that very same tuner and it'll work just fine. Just remember that you might not see the string number that corresponds with the octave string. Right now, as you tune up, it tells you which string your working on, like 6E, or 4D. But because you're going to be tuning up those 4 strings an octave higher than standard, the meter might read a different number, then again, it might lock onto the correct string number. Either way, you still will need to do what I said in my earlier post to make sure that you are getting the octave string up to that octave by comparing it to the 12th fret, which is after all the octave note you want to tune those thinner strings to. Make sense? It'll help you to train your ear also.
#11
Quote by fifer
wow a whole octave? I never knew that. wouldnt the strings break?


The octave strings are, out of necessity, thinner so that they can withstand the higher tension of tuning up an octave higher then standard. And remember, you're only going an octave higher on the stretchier EADG strings, not the B and high E. Try going an octave higher on the B and high E and you will snap them.
#12
Well, thanks for all your help LeftyDave, and everyone else, I think I'll be able to tune my new 12 string just fine now. If not expect more questions lol. I appreciate it. Anthony.
#13
I'm having the same problem tuning my 12 string everyone says tune an octave higher. I have no clue what that means! I have a chromatic tuner how do I tune it an octave higher on the tuner? Thanks for any input this is driving me nuts.
#14
I'm having the same problem tuning my 12 string everyone says tune an octave higher. I have no clue what that means


I think it was Lefty that described that earlier. The octave is the note you get if you fret a string at the 12th fret. That's the note you want for the smaller of the two strings for the E,A,D and G strings. B and high E are the same pitch for both strings.

Any tuner can do it, find the pitch using the method Lefty described, fret the string at the 12th, get it close and let the tuner take over.

And yes, a 12 string can handle the tension created by tuning an octave up. It's designed for it so don't worry. (I know that question is coming up sooner or later...)
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...