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12 string tuning question, baffling me!

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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 879
Topic starter  

Hi all, please can you help me. Perhaps David Hodge would comment on this for me if he's reading this.

I understand the basic principles of tuning a 12 string, but surely, if the low E string is paired with one tuned to "normal" low E, and the other an octave higher, the one tuned highest should sound the same as your "normal" high E string? No?? :?:

I read somewhere that this isn't the case, but I cannot get my head round this at all

Advice appreciated as I am taking possession of a 12 string this week bought from ebay at a bargain price of £117....tanglewood.

Cheers!

Matt


   
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(@tucker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 144
 

Standard tuning dictates that the strings are tuned in pairs, EeAaDdGgBBEE, with the first four tuned in octaves (the last two strings are tuned to the same pitch). There are alternative tunings but that is the standard.


   
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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Topic starter  

Tucker

Yeah I know all that, that's not the question. The question is, does the "highly tuned" low E sound the same as the "normal" high E string?

In other words, does the 11th string (if I can call it that) get tuned to the same pitch as the 1st string?

(assuming that the 12th string is tuned to normal low E)

thanks for your answer though mate

Matt


   
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(@tucker)
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If by 11th string you mean the one underneath the thickest string, then yes, that statement is correct.

Congratulations on the Tanglewood, man - I have two and they're excellent guitars.


   
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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Topic starter  

cheers Tucker, yes I have heard excellent reports on them.

As a lefty, to pick up a 12 string at this price, is pretty amazing. And plaudits to the guy I got it from, he bothered to go all the way to town to pick up a second hand hard case to ship it in to avoid damage (at my cost obviously). Some good people out there in the wicked world we seem to inhabit these days!!

All the best

Matt


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

They are not tuned in unison (same note, same octave).

In standard E tuning, the low E string and high E string are separated by two octaves -- so a twelve string guitar's low E octave string is tuned to the E between the low and high strings.

-Greg

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@tucker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Oh right, fair enough.

Matt, you're a lefty? Did you know the shop that owns 90% of Tanglewood is owned by a lefty, and that's why their lefty range is so good? Seriously, Cranes in Cardiff has every lefty Tanglewood going, it's unbelievable.


   
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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Topic starter  

now THAT sounds like my kind of shop!

Occasionally I get down to Cardiff, I will check it out, with my credit card ha ha.

I didn't know that about Tanglewood, fair play to the guy, too many manufacturers think left handed means "go and play something else you idiot".

I went into a big shop last year, must have had more than 150 acoustics. 3 lefties.....nuff said.

Oh well, there loss and Tanglewoods gain, well done Tanglewood.


   
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(@tucker)
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If you can, definitely check it out - they've got the absolute works. They have a left-handed Rickenbacker copy for £200 called the "Lennon Ricky". ;) It's a proper Rickenbacker copy too, it's got those weird pickups and the cats-eye soundholes... I don't know how they managed it for £200.


   
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(@gizzy)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 109
 

:) I have a Acoustic 12 string and I found a tuning device called a Intellitouch tuner you just clip it in to the head of your guitar and it picks up the notes on each string when you pluck them it also has a memory so if you want to tune to alternate tunings you can save each one in Memory and just go to the tuning you want and tune your guitar to that tuning, another big advantage to it is there is no speaker so there is no background noise that can mess up your tuning, It picks up the vibrations of each string through the wood, so you could be on stage or have a stereo going and have no Problems works great, got it at the guitar center store in town and you can order them online, cost around $40 but well worth it!!!!. :D


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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Posts: 4338
 

A 12 string guitar is tuned and strung the same way as a 6 six string but you have extra strings tuned one octave higher ("string pairs 3-6") and extra strings tuned in unison ("string pairs 1-2")

That means (low to high):

String pairs:

6, E one octave higher than standard
6, E as standard
5, A one octave higher than standard
5, A as standard
4, D one octave higher than standard
4, D as standard
3, G one octave higher than standard
3, G as standard
2, B as standard
2, B as standard
1, E as standard
1, E as standard

Due to the heavy string tension on a 12-string guitar many people tune their 12 strings a whole step lower to: (low to high) D G C F A D + the extra strings and use a Capo on the 2:nd fret if you want to play in standard-tuning

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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