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12 String Guitars - why?

PHJim 15 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM
leeneia 13 Oct 19 - 03:28 PM
PHJim 11 Oct 19 - 09:48 AM
Stringsinger 10 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM
skarpi 09 Oct 19 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Jerry 09 Oct 19 - 05:53 PM
Stringsinger 09 Oct 19 - 12:03 PM
Jack Campin 07 Oct 19 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 07 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM
gillymor 06 Oct 19 - 08:16 PM
leeneia 06 Oct 19 - 07:29 PM
gillymor 05 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM
punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 19 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Ray 05 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM
punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM
gillymor 04 Oct 19 - 01:25 PM
gillymor 04 Oct 19 - 01:05 PM
leeneia 04 Oct 19 - 12:49 PM
PHJim 02 Oct 19 - 02:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 19 - 02:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 19 - 02:03 PM
Stringsinger 01 Oct 19 - 02:08 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Starship 01 Oct 19 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Ray 01 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM
BobKnight 01 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM
PHJim 30 Sep 19 - 03:10 PM
Mark Ross 29 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM
gillymor 29 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Sep 19 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Ray 28 Sep 19 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Jerry 28 Sep 19 - 06:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 19 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Jerry 28 Sep 19 - 04:42 AM
bbc 27 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM
Nick 27 Sep 19 - 07:40 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Sep 19 - 06:56 PM
Jack Campin 27 Sep 19 - 06:50 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 10 - 07:48 PM
kendall 05 Oct 10 - 07:40 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 10 - 05:43 PM
Don Firth 05 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM
evansakes 05 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 10 - 12:27 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 10 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,punkfokrocker 05 Oct 10 - 11:02 AM
bankley 05 Oct 10 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Silas 05 Oct 10 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 05 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM

John Denver's 18 string Gibson


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:28 PM

I heard John Denver in concert about 1967. He had a guitar; maybe it was a 12-string, maybe it was that 18-string mentioned above. He tuned it all night. When he wasn't singing, he was tuning. Tiresome!
=========
Hi, skarpi. Nice to hear from you. I hope you get some sunshine soon.

I like the sound of the 12-string. A 12-string is friendly.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: PHJim
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 09:48 AM

There are a few instruments with triple string courses. I believe John Denver had an 18 string guitar with triple string courses.
The Canadian painter Tom Thompson owned a 12 string mandolin with triple string courses. It resides in the Tom Thompson Museum in Owen Sound, Ontario.
My tiple has 2 double string courses and 2 triple string courses and is tuned gG-cCc-eEe-AA.
I have a Filipino banduria with a single bass string, two double courses and three triple courses that I tune D-GG-CC-FFF-AAA-DDD.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM

The double coursed strings hark back to the Renaissance and Medieval times.
Spain had their own adaptation of the lute.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: skarpi
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:08 PM

I have on 12 Seagull from Canada, and I love it, well i can play tunes
on it and the sound is great, and in recording of a song it´s so good to have 12 strings behind the other 6 strings, amazing sound, those of you who where lucky to get the first cd of Rósin Okkar Icelandic folk band ,
can hear, my first one, I had , I have another one know a better one .

12 and 6 strings , love it .
have a great day and all the best from the north atlantic ocean, where it raine s every day and every night almost all September and it´s still raining.
Skarpi .


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 05:53 PM

Like the Portuguese Guitar?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:03 PM

In Spain they were known as Guitar Doble and used like the Lute which also has
double courses.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 06:17 AM

An odd divergence in regional preferences. The Romanian/Hungarian cobza/koboz is a fretless 4-course 8-string lute which is mainly used for rhythmic backing, using a large repertoire of picking patterns which are a bugger to figure out. It uses standard 12-string sets. With two differences: it's often tuned re-entrantly with the first course highest, and (at least in Moldavia) the string pairs are the other way round from the 12-string - on a downstroke you hit the heavy string first. Gives it a peculiar dead sound, like jazz guitar only more so.

Since this needs a different nut you probably can't easily experiment with it.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM

Just out of interest I play, amongst others, an 8 string guitar because I can


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: gillymor
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 08:16 PM

No, it was a 12 string.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 07:29 PM

So I guess y'all agree that one way or another, that's the sound of a twelve-string.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: gillymor
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM

Here's a story on George's first Rickenbacker 12 (apparently it was the second one made):

From Guitarworld

I heard his stuff on the 12 when it first came out and it still sounds great to me.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 11:01 AM

Leenia - What you need to know is that the electric 12 string guitar
was itself still expensive cutting edge music technology back in the early to mid 60s...

But of course, Abbey Road and the Beatles could easily afford them...

There's no need to over complicate things with suspicions about studio trickery technology
which basically didn't exist back then...

Though I can immediately imagine how an early 1960s pioneer of shoe string budget tape recording gimmickery, like Joe Meek,
might have attempted to emulate a 12 string guitar
if he couldn't afford to hire one for a session..

But it would sound a bit crap...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM

Given that the majority of Beatles material was recorded on a good old four track, the simplest way of creating the sound of a 12 string guitar would have been to use ......
a 12 string guitar!

A couple of decades later you could get a very passable 12 string out of a 6 string by using an Eventide Harmoniser (which was also very useful if the engineer wanted to get his own back on an awkward vocalist - simply patch it into his foldback!).
.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM

If The Beatles did have electronics of that kind nearly 60 years ago,
it would have probably been far too big to to transport on tour,
and require a large team of ex military technical engineers to operate.

Nowadays, it can fit in a smart phone...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: gillymor
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 01:25 PM

Actually GH is holding a Gibson ES-345.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: gillymor
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 01:05 PM

That's a lip synch (note that no one is plugged in) and George is mock-playing a Gibson 335 while on the studio recording he played his 12 String Rickenbacker.

Check out the Beatles Bible or Wikipedia for more info.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:49 PM

Does anybody else think that this early Beatles' piece is imitating the twelve string with a lot of electronics? Maybe their others early songs did too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyNt5zm3U_M


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: PHJim
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:45 PM

It's one of those things I miss. I figured I wasn't using it enough, so I sold it to my brother and now I miss it.
I agree with Stringsinger about the octave string in the third course.
I have an old Yamaha that I keep strung in Nashville (high-strung) tuning to get that type of sound, but not as satisfying.
Spider John Koerner doubled his G string with an octave string for the Koerner, Ray & Glover LPs and a few years back, Roger McGuinn got Martin to make him a Spider John style guitar.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:41 PM

I see there are two types = plectrum and spectrum. Do you have a favourite?
And they are about thirty quid a set

They must be great.

I've got to admit, I've had 12 strings before and to be honest - I've been too busy to mess about with them. Howevere I'm retired now and I saw a lovely 12 string at Gear4music. Really super at just £89.99, and I'm loving playing the 12 stringHuge fun!


https://soundcloud.com/denise_whittle/bridport-market-song


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:03 PM

Interesting, I'd never heard of Thomastik.

Do you use them?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 02:08 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Glenn Campbell used it on "By The Time I Get To Phoenix
and on "Witchta Lineman". He built a rep around using it. Also, I believe John Denver used it and Roger McGuinn revolutionized it with the Byrds. It adds a tone color that
the standard six doesn't have unless put through a Boss Chorus but then it sounds
electronic. Bob Gibson used it. I played Pete's 12 string for an afternoon and I think he may have picked up some ideas from me. Paul Simon used it on some of his recordings.

In my opinion, excluding some individual guitar makers, generally the best sound was the Guild. I loved the old Leadbelly Stella too but you'd have to have cast iron outsized hands to make it sound right.

The unique part of the 12 is the the thin third string is higher than the first which
feels like an overtone.

You can tell the difference between the acoustic 6 and 12 on recordings.

Try Thomastik 12 string sets on it.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM

If anyone cares, I much prefer electric 12 strings to acoustics...

Electrics are far more versatile and distinctive instruments.
Acoustics tend to just sound like a mush of bland wishy washy chord strumming...

Well, at least thats how I remember acoustic 12s being played in MOR soft rock bands back in the 70s...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 11:26 AM

Oh, yeah, the boy can play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ies_zNrFP84


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM

Dan Crary may look like a trendy vicar but anyone wishing to hear what a 12 string should sound like, might like to listen to his CD “Thunderation”.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: BobKnight
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM

It seems to be the favoured instrument of "trendy" vicars as well. ;)


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 03:10 PM

Because it sounds so good.

Because you can get sounds you can't get from a six string guitar (or a ukulele or a banjo. . .)

I enjoy playing or listening to a 12 string at times. I would not want it as my only guitar, but I'm glad to have had them over the years.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM

Listen to Lydia Mendoza, aka The Lark of the Border who played a 12 string tuned down to B as a baritone instrument. The 12 string originally came up from Mexico. I dont particularly like it tuned to concert pitch like a 6 string, but listen to Lonnie Johnson who recorded duets with Eddie Lang (Lang recorded under the nom de guerre of Blind Willie Dunn). They were the first interracial duo to make records.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: gillymor
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM

Why not, if it's used effectively. George Harrison added so much sparkle and chime to those early Beatle songs with his Rickenbacker electric which inspired McGuinn to get one and produce all that great stuff.
I owned a cheapo 12 string when I was first learning to play and was obsessed with Leadbelly's "Keep Your Hands off Her" but didn't get too far with that high action. I pulled it out of the closet when I heard Kottke but then I found I liked his tunes for the 6 string better so back in the closet it went and eventually it got traded for some weed.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 06:16 AM

Gosh, that sounds familiar; I can’t remember when I last payed my twelve string either, even though I was desperate to have one donkeys years ago. I think after a while I got fed up with the incessant tuning issues, the difficulty of getting a clean capo fit, not having a decent carrying case for it, the top G string regularly breaking, plus the extra digging in you have to do for finger style playing. However, I see there are new models on the market now that claim to address such issues.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 01:24 PM

I suspect that part of the problem (although I’m not so sure that it applies nowadays) is that 12 string guitars are/were bought by people (usually beginners) who are/were dissatisfied with the sound of their cheapo six string guitars.

12 strings tend to have a fuller/lusher sound and would appeal to the untrained ear. Indeed, I bought one myself back in 1960 something but it must be at least 40 years since I last played it.

Structurally, the pull of the strings tends to distort things. Combine this with strings which are past their change-by date and someone who has difficulty telling what is or isn’t in tune and you have the the scenario people describe.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 06:36 AM

Quite so - check out Leo Kottke, Willie McTell, early Glen Campbell and early Roger (Jim) McGuinn,


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 05:48 AM

Pete Seeger used to say that Leadbelly's Fannin Street intro was one of the greatest musical masterpieces ever created. Certainly not many people attempt it.

I can only think of the blokes who did the Leadbelly biopic music and the Koerner, Ray, Glover album - Blues Rags and Hollers. I've never seen it performed live.

I think, like Kendall says, its got its own inherent capabilities and not just a fancy six string.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 04:42 AM

I think the problem is that many twelve stringers are six string players just after a different sound (or volume), without trying to learn to play the twelve string properly. The tuning may be similar to a six string, but the techniques for playing and using its altered voicing is rather different, but so many just play it like a six string, relishing the extra volume and octave notes. As I’ve said before, people are encouraged to learn guitar chords and strumming styles first now, and in the past you learnt scales and fretboard navigation before learning to combine notes into chords.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: bbc
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM

I love the sound! Gordon Bok.

bbc


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Nick
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 07:40 PM

I’ve generally found that in sessions and singarounds the arrival of a 12 string is usually the time that I start to think about going home. There seems to be a high positive correlation between taking a 12 string to a session and wanting to be the centre of attention and to drown anything that moves. Often also associated with peculiarly personal senses of time.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 06:56 PM

Oi, that were me, Jack! I suppose my peeve was more due to the bloke's penchant for strumming behind the beat and for doing hazy arpeggios rather than crisp chords. Could've been just him...

And don't get me started on 5-string banjos in sessions...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 06:50 PM

I came to this thread from another one which had a peeve about 12-strings in sessions, and I see the point. They never seem to be exactly in tune with anybody else. But I play in a Middle Eastern group that has lots of double-course instruments and we never seem to have that issue: we don't seem to suffer hazy tuning. The instruments are fretless or microtonally fretted, and there are no functional chords - it's a free melodic unison.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:48 PM

Like many of the better things in life a 12 string guitar requires a little more effort.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: kendall
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:40 PM

A 6 and a 12 are two different instruments and can not be compared. I have both and they serve different purposes.

I'm reminded of that silly question, "Do you live here or keep a cow"?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:43 PM

I abuse my Cort jumbo 12-string something awful, it is embarassing really. In the boot of the car for days when the temperature is in the 30s (centigrade), hot to the touch when I get it out and still it keeps its tuning! I only have to adjust the two thicker gauge strings slightly when I shift capo to 4th or 5th fret. Loud enough to be heard across a hall with 100 people, sensitive enough to produce good harmonics in the softer numbers, and has action softer than marshmallow. I don't deserve her really (there, I said it, she's a "she", don't tell Vanessa!).


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM

A 12-string is not just twice as hard to tune as a 6-sting. It's 144 times as hard!

I play mostly classical, but I've had a couple of 12-strings over the years.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: evansakes
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM

I like the sound of a 12 string and have owned two or three over the years. But I only ever play them with a flat pick...I've tried finger picking styles but it never feels right somehow. My fingers always want to hit one string at a time...not two.

However I won't deny that George makes it work very well....


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 12:27 PM

You're just hard boiled George


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM

Ah well, Silas, I am the divil's now, me and my egg-slicer! :-)


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 12:09 PM

Of course they can be finger picked.
Try the track Halcyon Days on here
This is a piece of my own, and I use only fingernails to play it, no picks at all.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,punkfokrocker
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 11:02 AM

plus I can rearrange the strings on a spare 12 string electric
and gain a very reasonable and convenient approximation
of a an electric mandola / octave mandolin
at a fraction of the price of the real thing..

..and enjoy the extra benefit of only having 8 strings to keep in tune.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: bankley
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:43 AM

cuz they're easier to tune than a 14 string guitar ?

don't laugh , there is a 7 string axe with a low B, so double that and it's higher than I can count most of the time...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:39 AM

Hi George

We have actually met, and,indeed, played together. I was at Wheaton Aston a few years ago and we were playing in the Coach and Horses bar along with Tony Portlock and a few others. You didn't have your12 string then - must have been before you went over to the dark side!


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM

George... no wonder so many of your songs lend themselves to a 12!

I had no idea, as I still have never seen you in concert, but am delighted to know what you said. Watermelon Seeds is another favourite of mine, along with Tony with an 'i', Rush Hour, etc

:-)

mp


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