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Twelve string guitar

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 11 years, 3 months ago

Standard modern tuning

  • e E - a A - d' d - g' g - b b - e' e'


Although the modern twelve-string is derived from the six-string guitar, this twelve-string tuning bears a striking similarity to that of the Baroque guitar, and was possibly even the tuning used on the twelve-string guitars that were built and played as the Baroque guitar evolved to the Romantic and then to the modern Spanish guitar. However these older instruments were probably tuned a little flat of the modern pitch standard, see Baroque guitar.


Unison G

Used on some electric twelves, particularly for power chord players. Saves breaking octave G strings, which are the only string in the standard tuning tuned above the top E string of a normal guitar. Standard stringing of the Shergold Modulator 12.


  • e E - a A - d' d - g g - b b - e' e'


Rickenbacker 360/12

Famously used by the Byrds, and also by the Easybeats, Beatles and others, this particular guitar model (still in production) reversed the order of the principal and octave strings.


  • E e -  A a  - d d' - g g' - b b - e' e'


Traditional tuning

Early 20th century twelve-strings were just not strong enough for "concert pitch", so were tuned two frets down, and often played with capot 2 to bring them back to "concert". This also meant that the octave G string, now an F, was tuned only one semitone higher than the string designer had intended, not three!


  • d D - g G - c' c - f ' f - a a - d' d'


Also known as D tuning.


External links



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