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Alternate Picking on a Twelver?

Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 48
Topic starter  

I just got a twelve string acoustic after playing on a six string for about a year and a half. I have always tried to do scales with alternate picking - and that translates handily into my playing. Now, on the twelve string, it seems that the up-pick and the down-pick give you two distinctly different sounds due to the fact that there's a smaller string on one side of each course, so it doesn't get hit all that much on the up-pick.

So the question is this: in order to "adjust" to playing on a twelve string, should I be adjusting the pick angle to get the same sound for both an up-pick and a down-pick? Or rather should I adjust by favoring down-picks to get that full sound? If the former, that seems like a pretty big adjustment in picking angle to get the same sound (up and down). :?

Any insight is appreciated.

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:2-4

Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353

in my mind that is the nature of the beast.
maintain your picking style and appreciate the difference.
by maintaining your picking style you will not lose the input you are used to.
that way you will not feel hampered.
the resultant sound , to me, would be classic twelve string.

just my two pennies.

Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 559

I don't even know how I play the strings on my 12, it just sort of comes naturally. I fingerpick and if I hit only one of the pair, so what eventually I'll hit the other. I guess I'm not a good player (actually I know it) but the sound from a 12 just seems to flow out.