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Twelve-String Guitars

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Keith Rawlings 20 Mar 98 - 11:24 PM
Will 21 Mar 98 - 12:19 AM
Dan Keding 21 Mar 98 - 01:40 AM
Jaxon 21 Mar 98 - 09:15 AM
Earl 21 Mar 98 - 11:16 AM
chet w 21 Mar 98 - 12:07 PM
Sir 21 Mar 98 - 07:32 PM
Keith Rawlings 25 Mar 98 - 11:32 PM
Jon W. 26 Mar 98 - 11:54 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Mar 98 - 07:49 PM
eddie jones 26 Mar 98 - 08:38 PM
a rtfilbey@kennon.com 28 Mar 98 - 03:12 PM
steve t 28 Mar 98 - 03:29 PM
Dawn 03 Apr 98 - 12:55 AM
wolfz 08 Apr 98 - 05:02 PM
Dawn 08 Apr 98 - 10:31 PM
DrWord 08 Apr 98 - 10:55 PM
09 Apr 98 - 11:08 PM
steve t 10 Apr 98 - 03:58 PM
Mark Clark 10 Apr 98 - 04:24 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 10 Apr 98 - 08:48 PM
Gene E 11 Apr 98 - 08:09 PM
Dave L 12 Apr 98 - 11:30 PM
Will 13 Apr 98 - 10:24 AM
Dawn 13 Apr 98 - 02:54 PM
Paul Birch 14 Apr 98 - 09:58 AM
Roger Himler 14 Apr 98 - 05:18 PM
Tom Johnson (TJMcShane@aol.com) 16 Apr 98 - 02:59 PM
Frank in the swamps 16 Apr 98 - 04:22 PM
Ted from Australia 20 Apr 98 - 08:47 AM
hanrahan 20 Apr 98 - 10:59 AM
steve t 20 Apr 98 - 05:13 PM
Will 20 Apr 98 - 11:06 PM
Big Mick 19 Aug 98 - 10:43 AM
shoem007@tc.umn.edu 30 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM
kendall 30 Sep 99 - 12:57 PM
Travis 30 Sep 99 - 02:19 PM
Davey 30 Sep 99 - 04:39 PM
kendall 30 Sep 99 - 04:43 PM
Roger in Baltimore 30 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM
KD 30 Sep 99 - 06:50 PM
kendall 30 Sep 99 - 07:30 PM
JedMarum 01 Oct 99 - 09:01 AM
JedMarum 01 Oct 99 - 09:21 AM
shoem007@tc.umn.edu 02 Oct 99 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,frappier@golden.net 05 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM
Sorcha 06 Feb 00 - 12:38 AM
catspaw49 06 Feb 00 - 01:21 AM
Eric the Viking 08 Feb 00 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Scotsbard 09 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM
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Subject: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Keith Rawlings
Date: 20 Mar 98 - 11:24 PM

Does anyone know the concert pitch tuning of a twelve-string guitar? Is it a lower pitch than the six-string guitar? I notice that if I play from the same chord diagrams for songs that use a twelve-string guitar on a six-string guitar, they don’t sound right. In other words, a C chord on a six-string becomes (hypothetically) an A chord on a twelve-string.This has always bothered me. Another thing: what is the preferred key for harmonica to play folk and blues? I used to have a harmonica in the key of C, but couldn’t seem to get the right sound for blues. THANKS!


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Will
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 12:19 AM

'dunno about concert pitch tuning, but I tune my 12-string Seagull to the same EADGBE tuning as my six strings. The 12 and 6 make more or less the same noise, except the 12 string sounds better.

I've got an old Ibanez 12-string that I tune down and then capo up, to keep the strings from pulling the neck out of line, but that's a work-around, not a concert.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Dan Keding
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 01:40 AM

Most of the newer twelve string guitars are built to take concert pitch. With oler models many players kept them tuned down a half or full step. Not so nowadays.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Jaxon
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 09:15 AM

The general rule of thumb for harps is to play a mojor key in the same key,eg key of A use a A harmonica. If the song is in a minor key go up two steps to the major key, eg Song in Am, harp should be C. Most blues stuff is usually, but not always in E or A. Most performers carry 5 or 6 different harps with them to cover the most popular keys.

Jack Murray


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Earl
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 11:16 AM

Blues harmonica players usually play "cross harp" which means using a harmonica in the fourth note of the key being played. For example, when playing in G, use a C harp; when playing in E us an A harp. The advantage of this is that more notes are played by breathing in allowing them to be "bent" for that distinctive blues harp sound.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: chet w
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 12:07 PM

Don't know if you'd be interested, but I've lately tried the Lee Oskar harps in minor keys, both natural minor and harmonic minor. The natural minor is meant to be played in cross-harp as described above, but if you get, say an Bm (natural minor) harp it plays a lovely D dorian scale in straight harp position. The harmonic minor harp plays in the key printed on it, but it is a slightly different scale, said to be useful for eastern (really central) European, gypsy, and Jewish music. I love both kinds.

As for 12-strings, I have nothing to add except that the best sounding ones I've ever heard were Martin, and with their light construction they might be best tuned down a fret or two. Another great one is the old Gibson B-25 12-string, and Guilds are consistently good. I guess I would recommend today that, in general, the higher quality your instrument, the more likely it is to be safely tuned in standard pitch.

Good luck, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Sir
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 07:32 PM

I usually tune my 12 String down a full step then use a capo when I need to play in the same key as another guitar player who wants to follow the chords. As much as saving on the neck of the guitar it tends to save on buy replacemnets for that high g string. It's said that Leadbelly and some others would tune the low E string down to a low C to really get a bass effect.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Keith Rawlings
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 11:32 PM

Thanks a lot, fellahs! This was very helpful. It's cleared up a lot of confusion for me!


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Jon W.
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 11:54 AM

Some of the 12-string guitar makers from earlier this century used a tailpiece and floating bridge to eliminate the possibility of tearing the bridge off the guitar top due to the high string tension. Also, a shorter scale and 12-frets-to-the-body neck would mean somewhat lower tension - the standard "dreadnaught" scale and 14-fret neck coming into vogue a little later.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 07:49 PM

In Wolf and Lowell's "The Life and Legend of Leadbelly" they mention that Leadbelly used to tune his lowest (in pitch) two strings an octave apart. That is the one that was (physically) higher up was an octave above the other so the higher one sounded first on a downward strum. This was to add more "ompf" to the base (and nobody can deny that Leadbelly had that!).

They also mention that he used a Stella, which was (is?) a relatively cheap instrument. When the strings or the instrument started to decay, he would tune down a semitone (and adjust his singing) to ease the tension. Other than that he tuned the six courses as the six strings would be tuned on a six-string guitar.

I have never played a twelve-string, so I don't know how this octave tuning works in practice.

Murray


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: eddie jones
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 08:38 PM

Leo Kottke drops his twelve string to C#. I don't know why. Maybe he had the same problem.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: a rtfilbey@kennon.com
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 03:12 PM

Usually i tune my 12 string down so that the first (thickest) string is a low D or D# on the piano. Then buy a GOOD cappo sp that you can play the in the same key or a different key with different chord changes. The secret with the 12 string is the cappo.

*** if you tune the guitar up to an E and leave it over time the neck will warp. So always tune it down. My Eko ranger 12 string is now 22 years old and going strong!!


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: steve t
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 03:29 PM

The trouble with tuning down is that the guitar goes out of tune more easily. Small variations in humidity will likely put you more seriously out of tune if your lowest string is tuned to C# than if you'd left it at E. I think the tensions on each string are a compromise between the ability to stay in tune easily, without being so tight that the strings break easily.

I wouldn't consider playing a twelve string without an incredibly well-trained ear for tuning, or an electronic tuner that was handy at all times.

I don't think there is such a thing as a good capo for 12 string. There's a clear difference in the sound of a 12 string that was tuned with the capo already on the desired fret, versus one that was tuned, then had the capo added later, or had the capo moved later. Moving/adding a capo always messes up the sound a little, and it's usually quite easy to hear on a solo strummed 12 string.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Dawn
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 12:55 AM

I have an Alvarez 12-string that I've had for almost 20 years. I tune it the same as my six string. Never had a neck problem (on the guitar, anyway).


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: wolfz
Date: 08 Apr 98 - 05:02 PM

checked with my favorite luthier and he says to tune your strings as follows

E E A A D D G G B Bb E Eb

this is the tuning he recommends if you don't want to tune down to D and use a capo


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Dawn
Date: 08 Apr 98 - 10:31 PM

I follow until the B Bb E Eb - why flat the tenor strings on the top two sets? (on purpose, anyway...I suppose mine sometimes ARE tuned like that, but that's another story)

If you could supply the reason I'd be most appreciative. To me it seems as though it would just sound out of tune.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: DrWord
Date: 08 Apr 98 - 10:55 PM

I agree with Dawn


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From:
Date: 09 Apr 98 - 11:08 PM

Hey wolfz, I think I've played at some jam sessions with that luthier friend of yours. (or maybe he meant he was a Lutheran?)


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: steve t
Date: 10 Apr 98 - 03:58 PM

Standard tuning is: First four string pairs, from thickest to thinnest are EE AA DD GG but each pair is tuned an octave apart. Last two pairs are BB EE but each pairs is in the same octave -- same pitch. Yeah, I did try to tune the last pairs an octave apart too...they broke real good :-)

You, of course, can tune 'em all however you like. My favourite alternate tuning is DD AA DD GG AA DD. Stan Rogers uses this tuning in Witch of the Westmorland, among other songs, and it sounds so crisp, that he must have retuned after he stuck his capo on the fifth fret.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Apr 98 - 04:24 PM

I read, years ago, that Huddie Ledbetter used octive pairs as mentioned above for the bottom (lowest pitched) four courses of strings and unison pairs for the top two. He used the standard "relative" tuning but his E strings were tuned down to C natural. Since this causes too much string rattle with standard strings, he substituted piano strings where needed to achieve the necessary tension. He also moved strings up from their intended position. If you listen to his recordings, you'll hear his open bass string from time to time and you'll also notice that, unlike most twelve strings, his guitar did not sound like a truck load of dog tags falling down stairs.

I think the Stella guitar Leadbelly played was a quality instrument with a fine spruce top. I think it was the Harmony Co. (Chicago Music?) that bought the Stella name and used it on cheap plywood guitars with painted detailing. They used to sell a 12-string model in the 60's and may yet for all I know.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 10 Apr 98 - 08:48 PM

I have read somewhere that John Lomax tried to get Leadbelly to buy a better quality guitar. That might indicate Lomax's opinion of the Stella rather than the actual quality however. It might also be an indication of the Setlla's reputation rather than its actual quality.

Murray


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Gene E
Date: 11 Apr 98 - 08:09 PM

Howdy all,

While I play bottleneck on a couple of Dobros and blues harp on a bunch of Hohners, I find I do have a slant on the tuning thing.

I submit that standard tuning is only important when writen musical standards are important for ensembles. Any tunable stringed instrument can be tuned in hundreds of different ways but writen standardization allowed European musicians to create music that could be repeated in concert halls around the globe. The objective (before recorded music technology) was to be able to play the music the way the composer intended.

now that my European based musical training is long past and I'm older and into the bluEs I find as the Delta blues greats that the tuning depends on the range of the voice so the guitar should be tuned to allow the singer to sing without much effort. This applied to twelve string folk and blues singers as well as Delta slide six stringers who may have had trouble singing if their axe was tuned to "E Standard."

Now that I'm older, I really enjoy open G tuned down to open C#. I use thicker strings so that the tension is maintained and they don't begin to sound sloppy!!???

Go ahead tune down, tune up or what ever. Your guitar will probably tell you where it would like to be tuned and what to play, listen to it. :}

My humble opinion and probably mine and mine alone.

Gene E


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Dave L
Date: 12 Apr 98 - 11:30 PM

I have a Yamaha 12 string that I have been tuning the regular way for almost 20 years. The neck is still as straight as ever. Also use a capo called "The Hamilton Fret Spanner". It is a screw type that is same width and depth as upper frets. Works and sounds great.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Will
Date: 13 Apr 98 - 10:24 AM

I use a Kyser capo, which is a spring-loaded slip-on device. Works just fine, with the requisite bit of fiddling to make sure the bass strings are buzzing. They have versions for both the 6 and 12 string.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Dawn
Date: 13 Apr 98 - 02:54 PM

I agree that, unless you're playing with other people (and sometimes even if), you can tune up, down, or alternate. I was just wondering why anyone would want to tune the top two sets a flat apart (B Bb, E Eb) as per wolfz's luthier?

(Yes, the lower four sets are an octave apart, top two sets same octave)

I've also used several different capos over the years and cuurently prefer the Kyser 12-string capo.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Paul Birch
Date: 14 Apr 98 - 09:58 AM

Somewhere ages ago (maybe in Pete Seeger's _Twelve-String Guitar as Played by Leadbelly_ book), I believe I read that Leadbelly tuned strings 11 & 12 TWO octaves apart (i.e., string 12 was the same pitch as strings 1 & 2).


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Roger Himler
Date: 14 Apr 98 - 05:18 PM

Paul is correct. Strings 11 & 12 were two octaves apart. He also tuned strings 5 & 6 in unison using identical strings. The other major difference is Lead Belly tuned his Stella further down then most, frequently it was tuned to C rather than E and sometimes B or even Bb. As Gene E. said, concert pitch is for them that wants to play with other people. Otherwise, you can use any pitch you wish. There are stories that Lead Belly chose pitch based on the condition of his strings. I suspect that is apocryphal. Also, as Gene mentioned. If you tune as low as Lead Belly you will need heavier gauge strings. One person I know uses 0.64 gauge on his 11th string.

I have a 1968 Guild 12-string. I keep it tuned to concert pitch. Guild built the guitar with that in mind. 12-strings built earlier often were tuned to D to ease tension on the neck. I would suggest people contact manufacturers if they are concerned. If you don't know, then safety might call for tuning to D.

I have been very satisfied with every capo designed for 12-strings except the old double elastic ones from the '60's.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Tom Johnson (TJMcShane@aol.com)
Date: 16 Apr 98 - 02:59 PM

I use a lot of the tunings that the other guys talk about, however I also tune my 12-string to "G" tuning. This way You can play some of Greg Brown's tunes on the Guitars, it also lends it self to playing modifed 3finger syle banjo tuns on the darnd thing.

Good luck with all the data


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 16 Apr 98 - 04:22 PM

I kept thinkin' about Wolfz' tuning and finally concluded either...

1) He made a simple mistake in notating unisons vs. octaves (an easy screw-up, I do worse).

2) He was pulling our collective leg ( a great practical joke, only a complete beginner would fall for it, and even a complete beginner would soon realize that he/she's been had).

3) Something else altogether.

Frank.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 08:47 AM

I have been playing 12 string for 20 odd years and have tried all types of tunings but in the end reverted to tuning a tone down to preserve the guitar(so that with capo on the second fret the tuning is "standard" I play a Maton 12 (Australian) of light construction If you use Mr Schubb's excellent overcentre 12 string capo you can slip it over (down) 1 course to allow the low E course to sound D then play in the key of D it gives the richest 12 string sound. Give it a try Regards Ted.

PS all 12 string players should have a good electronic tuner so that you can get tuned before everyone has gone home:grin


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: hanrahan
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 10:59 AM

I have played a Martin 12 since 1971 and most of the time it was tuned in standard...EE AA DD GG BB EE.. sometimes using DaDGAD and DADFAD..it has never had a neck problem.. I find lower tunings desirable when playing pieces that use a lot of string bending. I have the Keyser 12 capo but it is, in my humble opinion inferior to the Schubb..Paul Stookey said he puts a small piece of wood above the capoed fret to get a real clean tone. Gordon Bok has a wonderful cd of 12 string music...he often tunes down to C..

hanrahan


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: steve t
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 05:13 PM

I was reading in D'Addario's home page that after much work, they once developed a set of strings for base guitar which, at standard tuning, had equal tension on each string. Trouble was, they didn't like the sound, and so they never put the strings on the market.

My point is that even experts on tuning and strings can't predict how new ideas in tuning will work out.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Will
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 11:06 PM

Gotta agree with Ted. Electronic tuners are wonderful.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 98 - 10:43 AM

I have a 1965 Guild 12 string. I use standard tuning on it and the neck is not only fine, the action is fantastic. The folks at Elderly Instruments in E. Lansing, Michigan are constantly trying to get me to sell it.

I have both a Kyser and a Shubb capo in the 12 string models. The Shubb is superior, hands down.

The biggest problem I have is finding strings that have the sound I want. This instrument has a fantastic voice with the right string. I prefer Martin Marquis, to most strings out there for this instrument. I have tried them all. I usually don't like Martin strings, but the Marquis are great on this guitar. I usually stay with extra lights.

Mick


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: shoem007@tc.umn.edu
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM

My 1964 stella has stood up to regular tuning since I bought it new. I've used Martin Marquis light gauge and never took all the strings off at once. I tune with an electronic tuner and it usually stays in tune long enough for a 2 hour gig


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: kendall
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:57 PM

I have been playing an Apollonio 12 string for 25 years. It has tremendous volume and a warm mellow tone unequalled by any other I've seen. It is bigger than standard, and sounds better tuned down to D. I also use wound B strings which improves the intonation. However, they will not stand the tension of concert pitch. The problem with a capo, is, if the action is too high, it causes the box to go sharp, which drives other people nuts. The good news is, it keeps people from playing along on a tune that they dont know!!(Unless they have a tin ear)


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Travis
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 02:19 PM

If you cannot tune your 12 string to pitch -- your guitar is no good. I have owned several different 12 string guitars and have always tuned them to pitch. The capo is a cheater and distorts sound. It is the lazy way to do things.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Davey
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 04:39 PM

Just reading this thread out of interest, asd I'm a 12-string player as well. I, too have had a few different 12 strings, and presently own a Laskin. He tells me I can tune it to concert pitch with light-guage strings and to tune it down if I wish to use heavier strings.
Travis, let's keep it polite and not put anyone down please.. We were all beginners at one time and we all had to go through the growing pains of dealing with tuning of mass produced guitars.
Your comment about capos is also out of line. All the guitar players in the music community I'm part of here in Toronto (and some pros that I know), won't hesitate to use a capo if it helps them pitch a song to where they are able to give it the best possible treatment.
If your main intent is only to show off your prowess on the guitar, then do your thing, but please don't malign those whose methods and techniques are different. It's diversity that makes the world an interesting and exciting place, and a spirit of community, cooperation and courtesy that makes the Mudcat Cafe a wonderful part of that place.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: kendall
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 04:43 PM

the reason I tune my guitar down to D, is not that it is "NO GOOD" I like it down there. And, as far as quality goes, I will put it up against any Martin, Guild, Taylor, or any other factory made box. I've had them all, and NONE equal the Apollonio.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM

Tuning the guitar to a different pitch does give it a "different" sound. I've tried tuning from B to E as the base note. Below C# I find it advisable to use a heavier gauge string to keep them from getting "floppy". Of course I use light gauge and that compounds the floppiness.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: KD
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 06:50 PM

Hi what an intresting thread. I have had a 12 string for some 15 years and loved it. it is an old Eko and still going well, but I now also own a Takamine 12 which has moved my playing on in leaps. I also have tryed most capos even tryed to make one but am now sold on the Schubb's 12 it works every time. I also agree with Davey dont knock people who chose to capo or standard tunning its about playing your way that matters.

KD


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: kendall
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 07:30 PM

Doesn't Chet Atkins use a capo on occasion?


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 09:01 AM

Tuning a 12 string guitar down a whole step (ie., two frets lower) is not uncommon. Most of today's 12 strings are made better, and can handle the strain, but not too long ago, many (cheaper) guitars did not - so players tuned them down and capo'ed up.

'Cross harp' is the blues sound you are after for harmonica and you select a key that is a fourth to the key the song is played in. That means you play an A harp to plays a blues tune in E, a C harp to play a blues in G and an F harp to play a blues in C, etc. Cross harp is played with the primary scales coming from drawing in,as opposed to playing straight harp, blowing out.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 09:21 AM

Capo is cheating? I have heard this idiotic comment before, and found it just as laughbale then as I do now. It is a tool, like any other available to a good guitar player, it has its strengths and weaknesses.

Many fine fine players use it on purpose because of the tonal changes it causes. I have transposed songs to alternate keys so that I could capo up the neck and get a more delicate, glassy, musicbox quality to my finger picking. In other words; expressly for, the tonal changes.

Playing with other players, you might also wish to transpose and capo to compliment rather than duplicate their playing. And of course, it is the quickest and easiest way to cimply change keys ... but I must admit, I rarely use it for that purpose.


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: shoem007@tc.umn.edu
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 10:31 AM

I made a capo that worked but since the action on my guitar is fixed, I wound up with buzz that was even worse with jumbo ( C tuning ) strings, oh well..


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: GUEST,frappier@golden.net
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM

I have recently picked up a 12 string and I am having troubles tuning it. I typically use standard tuning with an octave separation between the pairs on the first four sets and the same tune on the last 2 sets. However, this for some reason isn't the same tuning that some of the songs I have been listening to that are played on a 12 are using. Can anyone provide any insight?

Rob


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 12:38 AM

Is a 12 string related to a harp or lute? There is an old saying about harpers and lutenists--they spend half their time tuning and the other half playing am out of tune instrument. Maybe a 12 string is also "not a real musical instrument, just a weirdness blip to keep luthiers and players occupied" *Grin*


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 01:21 AM

We have another thread or two on 12 strings and alternate tunings. Go to the "Search Box" on the main page and type in '12 string' and you'll find a bit more info. Many alternate tunings are also popular on 12's and you might want to type in 'alternate tunings' also. We have a ton of info on these subjects and if you don't find more than you need, check back in and we'll try to give you a hand!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 01:44 PM

On my old Eko I've used dropped D on both top strings, DADGAD and standard tuning. The guitar sounds just as good (or bad if you hear me playing) in any tuning provided the tuning is appropriate to the song. I've capoed up to 7th and 7th fret. It's what you like I guess. But I was interested to find out about dropping to E Eb and B Bb never heard of that and I've read several books, might give it a try-can any one explain why it should be dropped? Cheers. Eric


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Subject: RE: TWELVE-STRING GUITARS
From: GUEST,Scotsbard
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM

You mentioned that some chords sound different when played on a 12-string guitar. On a 6str chord inversions are fairly direct, but on a 12str mixing in the extra octave pitches can confuse things somewhat.

Take the first position E7th for example: on 6str; E-B-D-G#'-B'-E" (E-B-D-G#'-D'-E") on 12str; E-E'-B-B'-D-D'-G#'-G#"-B'-B'-E"-E" (E-E'-B-B'-D-D'-G#'-G#"-D'-D'-E"-E")

The D is the 7th of the chord, and hearing the E'-D' 2nd combination buried in the middle instead of the widely spaced E-D-E" 7th or the D'-E" 2nd at the top is probably what sounds different. (Getting the intonation clean enough that all three D' pitches match can also be an issue.) Chords that include 9ths or 11ths can sound even more wonderful or weird. Try using inversions that put only the root, 3rd and 5th on the octaved base strings and keep the larger intervals on the treble strings.

With regard to dropping the whole tuning a step or two to save strain on the neck and bridge ... I've found that it really depends on the particular guitar.

DADGAD on a 12str is kinda fun as well, but keeping everything in good intonation can be a real bear.

~S~


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