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Any serious 12 strings players left?

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GUEST,Taliesn 23 Aug 02 - 12:42 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Aug 02 - 12:47 PM
Mark Ross 23 Aug 02 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Taliesn 23 Aug 02 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,alinact 23 Aug 02 - 01:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM
Mark Clark 23 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM
TJO 23 Aug 02 - 01:28 PM
Stefan Wirz 23 Aug 02 - 01:36 PM
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Bee-dubya-ell 23 Aug 02 - 02:18 PM
Mark Ross 23 Aug 02 - 02:29 PM
John MacKenzie 23 Aug 02 - 03:38 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Aug 02 - 03:57 PM
ChanteyMatt 23 Aug 02 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Taliesn 23 Aug 02 - 05:30 PM
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Subject: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 12:42 PM

Whenever I have the golden oppurtunity to join a gathering of singer/guitar-picker / players I *always* ask if there be a 12 string guitar player in the house. I've found that most well-endowed guitar homefronts ( 3 or more gutiars ) *may* include a 12 string yet ,more times than not , they then go on to fail to pass my white glove test ( Yeah,that's right , the presense of "undisturbed dust" on the fret neck ). Might I humbly suggest ; " This is an *outrage* Might I humbly suggest why. Anyone whom has more than even a passing partiality to the unique "voice" of guitar can not be taken aback , if not downright enchanted , by the fuller voice of the 12 string *choir* of strings.

Yeah, and I've heard all the usual excuses we're ALL aware: Too hard to keep in tune ,Too hard to fingerpick , too hard to work that fretneck ,Too expensive , yaday,yada,yada.

Give me a break!

The 12 string is as fine and as unique a presense as any stringed instrument and to find players so rare is "danged" exasperatin' to say the least. I mean it's not so exotic an instrument as the guitar-harp. Worse , I visit well-endowed Music shops fromn time to time and amidst legions of electric and accoustic guitars perhaps 2. Meaning the next generation that bothers to try an learn certainly ain't bothering with the 12 string. This concenrs me no end.

Prompting the question: Are there 12 stringers left? I mean in recording there's Leo Kotke and , to some degree Preston Reed and whom else? I must add that the British guitarists/ virutosos ( Steven Howe springs to mind ) have shown substantially more versatility in giving the 12 string more artistic attention than I see generated here on our soil or am I missing something. Correct me please otherwise it's just a damn shame and it ain't gettin; any better.

So , folks ,' fess up. Where can one go to hear some 12 string once in a while. Also , my anguished cry goes out to the UK members of this messaageboard. Whom in the UK has recordings that I'm missing entirely. Links would be most welcome.

OK, said my piece now have at it

Taliesn


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 12:47 PM

I find a 12 string to be more trouble than it's worth...

I guess I can see it being used occasionally for a soloist for the different tone, but if yer playing with more than one person, I just can't see the point...


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:06 PM

Clinton, I beg to differ with you. On this last tour with the Rose Tattoo, I was privileged to play Rik Palieris's Bruce Taylor 12-string, a copy of Pete Seeger's old Stanley Francis. It has a 28 inch scale, and tuned down to B it rocked the building on our version of the old Almanac Singersw' GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN. YOu would not believe the resonance of this guitar. I mean it felt like I was riding an earthquake!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:09 PM

(quote) "Yu would not believe the resonance of this guitar. I mean it felt like I was riding an earthquake! "

Now *that's* the kind of musician's passion and spirit that I wasfishin' to catch hold of here like so much ligntenin' in a bottle. Keep it comin'


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:12 PM

50% of the stuff I play when we perform is on a 12 string (Fender) but it is mostly as rhythm guitar with the occasional little lead-y bits.

I'm with Taliesn on this - can't understand why there is not more use made of 12 string guitars in accoustic groups.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM

Hey Mark, you can differ all you want...

It's just personal opinion eh... yours and mine both...


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM

I hear that Leo Kotke's isn't dusty.

I love the sound of Lead Belly's 12-string and I always loved hearing Pete Seeger's at concerts. There used to be a bunch of 12-string players, (Fred Gerlach comes to mind, and I've owned a couple of them at various times. Still, a lot of the 12-strings you run into sound sorta like a load of dog tags falling down stairs. I know that's just because they're cheap guitars or haven't been set up properly but one eventually begins to dread running into a 12-string player.

Set up and played well though, they're still inspiring.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: TJO
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:28 PM

My experience is that the rarity of dedicated 12 string guitar players can be explained in one word -- tendinitis. It's also one of the reasons the popularity of the smaller guitars is growing. And didn't Leo Kottke have to take a couple years off from wear and tear and revamp his playing style before he came back? ( Playing more nylon string guitar instead of 12 string.)

I have a Martin and a Gibson 12. I love 'em both. Sound to die for. But after a couple hours of digging in to get that sound, I have to put them away for a couple months until I recover.

T.J. O'Malley


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:36 PM

What about Paul Geremia, Fred Gerlach and Mark Spoelstra (just having out a new CD after more than 20 years!) !?!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:41 PM

and how could I forget Harry Lewman ?!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:18 PM

I only have three words to say about how a 12-string guitar should be played:

Richard Leo Johnson

And as far as not staying in tune goes, I have a Guild JF3012 and a Martin J12-15 and they both stay in tune just fine. Admittedly, for folks like me with less than perfect pitch, the advent of electronic tuners has made the job of getting them in tune in the first place a little less daunting.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 02:29 PM

The problem with most 12-string players is that they tune their instrument to E. They sound much better tuned down at least one whole step. My personal preference is to C or B. Blind Willie McTell I'm told used to tune to A!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 03:38 PM

Well I've got an old Epiphone FT85 12 string that I've played as a solo instrument for years, and, yes I'm afraid that I tune it to E. However I've at long last got a decent capo [Shubb] so I can tune it down now, but still capo up to play along with others, if I need to. Failte.....Giok


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 03:57 PM

I absolutely LOVE the 12 string and I'm quite fanatical about all it's aspects. Leadbelly is still the most creative folk musician I ever heard and although I sure could never sing like him I've played his stuff for many years. My current Twelve string which seems to be able to handle my very low tuning well (B to B with a 67 on the bass) is a big Takamine.

Over the years I've owned a bunch......Stella, Three Harmony Sovereigns, Martin, Epiphone, Three Guilds and a couple of others I can't remember.

Fred Gerlach was a blast....wonderful player. He's the one who first got Pete S. playing, apparently by either loaning or selling Pete one of his instruments. This was prior to Pete's getting the Stan Francis.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: ChanteyMatt
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 04:29 PM

Thanks, everyone. I just decided to add a 12 string to my selection of instruments. I love the sound. Listening to Gordon Bok and Stan Rogers, as well as others, convinced me I should try it. My music friends thought it was just a plan to get yet another guitar.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 05:30 PM

(quote) "Thanks, everyone. I just decided to add a 12 string to my selection of instruments. I love the sound. Listening to Gordon Bok and Stan Rogers, as well as others, convinced me I should try it."

Iwhat a pleasure to read. it was my sincereest wish that if thus thread inspired even just "one" stalwart soul of a musician to *court* this grand instrument's muse then it was well worth taking the chance to post.

And ,as to Rick Fielding's unabashed love affair with the 12 string.... (quote) "I absolutely LOVE the 12 string and I'm quite fanatical about all it's aspects."...... ..... well what more can I say but that your 12 string passion is *music to my ears*. Any mp3 samples you'd care to make available. Would love to hear what your level of devotion has wroth. Please consider about sharing your favorite material of what you consider to be the best expression of that devotion because there's far too few of ya'. Mean while I'm still waitin' for the UK members here to contribute some of their low hangin' fruit to this "12 string" thread-basket.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 07:09 PM

The first time I (and probably millions of others )ever heard a twelve string was in 196something when the Rooftop Singers recorded "Walk Right In". Loved the sound. Visceral, that's what it was.

Then of course, Roger Mcguinn took the instrument (electrified) to new heights with the Byrds. And trust me, he can STILL create magic, solo, with an (acoustic) twelve string.

But IMHO there is no question that Leo Kottke, when he was at the peak of his powers, was THE master.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:57 PM

I've gotten to know Erik Darling a bit over the last couple of years, and one of the hilites for me of the Folk Alliance in Cleveland was gettin' to pick with him for an hour. He told me how the arrangement to "Walk Right In" came about.....he was a huge fan of Leadbelly's and used to see him while growing up in New York city.

Taliesen, I'm afraid that I'm far too computer illiterate to do mp3s, but my last three albums have had 12 string songs on them. If you wanna send me a PM, I can send you to a couple of websites that have sound bites of my stuff.

I'm workin' on a new album at the moment (still with Borealis Records in Canada) and there should be at least three 'pickin' tunes on the 12 string.

Have to agree with Murray. Leo Kottke hit like a bolt of lightening. Wonderful player, and I even like his SINGING!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 01:15 AM

(quote) "If you wanna send me a PM, I can send you to a couple of websites that have sound bites of my stuff. "

Heck-fire , just send on your email to taliesn@mac.com. It would be my pleasure to hear what y'all got.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,knutec55371@yahoo.com
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:09 PM

I got my first 12 string when I was 16. It was a Decca. I spent more time glueing it back together than playing it. When i was 18 I got a gibson B25-12. It was a wonderful little guitar. It died in an airline luggage compartment. For awhile i had a Guild electric 12 string (Guild Starfire 12) that I bought in a pawn shop in Albuquerque for $75. In 1975 I took out a student loan for $2000 and went directly from the financial aid office to the Podium Guitar shop in Dinkytown (Minneapolis, MN) and bought a Guild F212xl. It is a wonderful guitar and has had a lot of wear and tear over the years. I usually tune it to an open G (d bass). I have several other guitars and I have to admit, that I play them. I have a brass bodied dobro and a 40 year old guild classical guitar that I play on a regular basis. When I want to relax and enjoy myself, I play my 12 string. It has a deep bass voice and the high notes ring like a bell.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 stings players left?
From: GUEST,bid andy
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:24 PM

Get you're self's a full power welsh longbow. It has one string but when shot at uke players it's a dam sight more satisfying, the thing is though it only has one string, unless you keep one under your hat


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:49 PM

I've owned some 12 string guitars over the years and ended up getting rid of them as I've gone farther and farther from my folk roots to just country and mostly bluegrass.

Once in a while you hear a 12-string in country, but never in bluegrass.

I think the instrument is basically more than ever just a novelty with applications best for solo work.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 07:47 PM

"Just a novelty with applications best for solo work"? Really? No way! What have I been doing for the last three years then? 90% of my output of 104 songs to date are written specifically with fingerpicking on a 12-string in mind. That's how I perform them and it's becoming my trademark ("you're not supposed to fingerpick it", I was told several times - well, what do you know, nobody had told me when I started and it's too late now to change).

Neither do I tune it down - concert pitch it is, and it sounds great. Sure, I can thread needles through the callouses on both my hands (no fingerpicks for this guy, bare flesh does it best for me). But it's worth it for the fullness of sound and the variety of emotions it can evoke. You can imitate a mandolin or bouzouki on the higher strings, and base lines from a 12-string leave all others standing.

I started playing a Yamaha that I bought in the Netherlands 10 years ago, and only 3 weeks ago I took possession of a Custom Jumbo Cort electroacoustic - not just a beauty to look at, but it fills a room wall to wall just in acoustic mode.

And 12-strings are not just for bashing rhythms out of. They can produce really mellow, sensitive sounds for the slower numbers also.
Just go to http://www.folk4all.net, click on "albums", then on any of the album images to go to the tracklists, and finally on the headphone icons to hear how versatile a 12-string can be.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 08:03 PM

I'm glad it's your "trademark." Not mine though. Like I said, it's used mostly if not always for "boy and his guitar" acts.

I never heard anyone say that you weren't supposed to fingerpick it. I did when I owned one. I always enjoyed Leo Kottke's playing and he can do some amazing things with it, but I still think they are a pain in the ass and like I said are hardly ever used in country and never in bluegrass ensembles.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 09:05 PM

Anyone who doesn't like the 12 string guitar should hear mine in Rick Fieldings hands.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 09:45 PM

It's not that I don't like it.

I just don't find it interesting any more.

I lost interest long ago with Bob Gibson and The Rooftop Singers.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: freightdawg
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 11:50 PM

I had an Alvarez 12 string as a teenager and now own a Pimentel. In terms of active players, I have a video tape of Paul Stookey with an awesome rendition of his "Wedding Song" (fingerpicking, no less). If I'm not mistaken, Gordon Lightfoot plays the 12, and of course my favorite, although not among us anymore, was John Denver (both flat pick and finger pick). I love the 12 for its versatility, although I must admit to being more of a hacker than a player. They can be dreadfully finicky animals, but like most things that demand a little more effort, they make the effort more than worthwhile. Just wait a little while. In a few years someone will "rediscover" the 12 and everyone will act like it is a new invention. Meanwhile, those of us who love and adore our 12 strings will grin knowingly and go back to our pickin'.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 12:01 AM

Dan Crary plays a pretty mean 12 string, Taylor I think.

I love mine, a Beneteau rosewood and spruce. There might be a picture of it in the Mudcat photos. Stays in tune as well as my 6 strings.

There's precious few of them these days but I've a notion to get another sometime so that there's less downtime stringing and changing tunings. Trouble is, I'd like another a lot like the one I got and I don't think I can afford one right now or anytime soon. Wanna take up a collection? Charity's fine, subscribe to mine.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 03:38 AM

It must be a Greek thing, George. My Greek guitarist friend, Yorgos Glinatsis, also favours the 12 string, plays bare fingered and can make it sound like a bouzouki at times.
If you ever get to Kalymnos pop up to Emborios and drop in at the Atistico, the two of you would have a blast!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 04:10 AM

Could be right there, Roger - opa!
Thanks for the compliment, Martin -I haven't been called a "boy" in a looooong time.
It does boil down to taste with the 12-strings, I guess. Greightdawg is right, I can see the fad reappearing in a few years, and we can be "gurus" then!
Meanwhile, 2 weeks ago I heard that Dave Pegg (he of Jethro Tull and Fairport fame) is splitting up with his wife and selling all his kit, including a very interesting Guild 12-string that used to belong to Ian Anderson. Aaarghhh - I only just bought my new Cort, I think the wife won't talk to me for a month if I go out and buy another one....


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Steve-o
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 12:38 PM

M-G, I basically agree with you- the twelve has limited applications, but there are good examples of what can be done with a 12-string in Bluegrass. Dan Crary currently does a few good things, although he is a little too "flashy" for my tastes. If you want to hear the best, find an old album by Tut Taylor- I think it's called "12-String Dobro" or similar- with the unmatched Clarence White flatpicking a 12-string. That'll pique your interest.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 12:57 PM

Clarence White was amazing and 'ol Tut is still a dobro king, but these recordings are from over 30 years ago and at best can be considered a novelty.

Anything can be used in bluegrass once in a while, just for a change of pace.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Rex
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 01:06 PM

The 12 was my main instrument in the 80's. These days I play more on the fiddle and mandolin but still enjoy the jangling sound of the 12. I like to finger pick it.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 01:20 PM

TBH, I own a 1968 Martin D12-20 I didn't play for so long that I loaned it to a friend 10 years ago; he plays it regularly. I saw a Taylor 12 a couple of months ago that I would definitely play if it lived with me, though.

But the reason I stopped playing the 12 was simple: too many instruments to carry on the road. And autoharp atm fulfills any desire I have for a fuller stringed sound.

wg


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 01:50 PM

My first 12 string was a cheap Italian Eko Ranger. It must have been 50 pounds. A real pain to carry around. Currently I own a Lowden made with Ovenkol and a Cedar top. In my opinion it spanks any Taylor I've ever played. YMMV.

My favorite 12 string belongs to my brother. It's an old { mid 60's } Gibson B45-12 as I recall. And if you can wrap your hands around the neck it has a bass response that sounds like a train rolling through your living room.

Now as far as 12 string players goes I'm suprised that no one has mentioned Fred Neil. He's the guy I always wanted to sound like. His old Electra LP's were classic.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: freightdawg
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 02:24 PM

My new and most honored friend El Greko,

Never in the history of the English language has an unintentional slip of the finger been more noted and appreciated.

Ah, or was it unintentional? Is it possible that out there somewhere a star has begun to shine on my presence?   Perhaps my aura is beginning to exude its splendor? Is the grand poobah of 12 strings recognizing my pitiful contribution to the artistry of the 12 string?

I seriously doubt any of that. However, for the brief life of this thread, and for its little niche in history, I hereby humbly accept and will graciously bow to the most honorable and unexpected title of "Greightdawg."

Tail held high and laughing hysterically,

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 08:42 PM

I love my Taylor 12 string, but I play with Hatrack Gallagher on harmonica. Damn, if he doesn't give me the evil eye when I pull out a capo. It always puts the guitar just slightly out of pitch. Any suggestions there? I've tried every tuning known to man. I'd hate to think of having to upgrade from a guitar that already cost an arm and a something.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,barry biesanz
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 08:24 AM

I believe Spider John Koerner still plays 12 string regularly in Minneapolis. I recently saw an old video of him, Tony Glover and the late Snaker Dave Ray, who also played 12 string. Made me want to get one!

Barry


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 08:35 AM

It was definitely intentional, Frayeddawg!
Or it should have been. :-)


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 09:23 AM

Robert Lockwood Jnr.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,AT
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 10:04 AM

I have a rare instrument an Ovation Custom Balladeer 12 string about 16 or 17 years old now. She'll whisper, croon, sing, scream, holler and yells if you need her to. Best memory is Ken Hamm playing Last Steam Engine Train Blues on it. Hope he converts to 12 strings in future albums! Leadbelly and Leo Kottke are up there still.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Shaldon
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:09 AM

I have been to folk clubs where Paul Mitchell plays. He visits this board somethimes. He plays a mean 12 string. He plays it different to anyone else I have ever heard. Sings well as well.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:57 AM

Pete Hicks (of "Slattery", somtimes "Skinner's Rats", and "Crayfolk" etc) still uses a 12-string. He was playing it at the "Fenn Bell" session the other Sunday as about nine mudcatters can testify. I'm waiting for him to make his entry onto Mudcat - probably as "Streaky".


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Ironmule
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM

I'm WesleyS's brother. Thought I'd say the serial number of my B45-12 Gibson puts it's birth date about '57. I'd loved the 12's I heard on the old "Hootenany" TV show, and dropped into every music store and pawn shop I went by for more than two years trying actions and listening for the sound I wanted. I was then a GI stationed in Charleston SC, and took many different back roads to and from Florida to find more music stores to visit. When I was reassigned to the Puget Sound area, I finally found my "friend" in a small pawn shop in Everett WA, in the winter of 66-67. Hours spent with it helped me stay sane in those days. ....BG

Took quite a few hours of practice to get precise enough finger placement to cleanly do ragtime fingerpicking of things like "Alice's Restaurant" "Cocaine" and such.

I've remembered Wesley in my will ...VBG

Jeff Smith


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:48 PM

Brilliant guest Taliesn,

You have awoken great interest in this fantastic and very underestimated instrument.

Naturally there will always be a few cynics out there who know everything better and have already buried the 12-string, but we`ll survive without them.

I play an old Guild 12-string F112 myself. I think it`from the 60`s and it doesn`t look in any way imposing. The action is incredibly low, but still does not buzz when I use a capo on the fifth fret. It also keeps the tuning very well and picking can be very effective using picks.

Gordon Lightfoot has always been a great exponent of the 12-string. He plays a Gibson Sunburst, (just see that very sexy picture on his Sundown album. He constantly alternates between the 6-string and the 12-string and the effect is pure magic.

Long live the 12-string!

JB


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 08:42 PM

I have a Seagull 12-string. I use it for the Renaissance dance band I play with, and like to use it for the faster and peppier songs in my reportoire.

Especially, the space-themed songs I write for the filk community really ring out when I'm playing them on the 12-string. Also "Sedona" (which has been mentioned in other categories here and which I've played at the FSGW Getaway).

For the dance band, I'll admit part of the reason I like the 12-string is that I **do** keep it tuned down so I can take the capo off and transpose songs we do in Bb and Gm a step up into keys I don't have to learn bar chords to play. Yeah...I'm lazy. But since I basically play rhythm guitar for the band, the 12 works nicely for that.

As for other 12-string players, Sean McGhee of Dc-area duo Side by Side comes to mind.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 08:08 AM

I love the sound of a well-played 12-string. Along with all the other fine players mentioned in this thread, I would add the name of Ralph Towner, a guitarist who has done outstanding work as a solo and with various ensembles (including Oregon and the Paul Winter Consort, and side projects with musicians from the jazz world like Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, and others). Anyone who thinks the 12-string is a limited instrument should give him a listen; it'll open your ears to all sorts of possibilities.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: musiclover
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM

hi all, I only own a 6 string now. but i want a 12. I would figure that the six string would be more limited. But as far as i go when playing an insrument, they are all limitles! (even though there is only like 13 notes on a guitar)


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,cocoberry
Date: 06 Mar 04 - 05:56 PM

Fine subject for a thread my brothers & sisters. I think what would awaken even our tightass-bluegrass players to the beauty of 12 string was the music of the late great Gabby Pahinui and the recent work of his son Cyril. I have two Guild 12's: a 1967 f212 (retired) and an active duty 1976 f412SB. Both instruments are non-original-they have the imprint of artistic lutiers adding touches over the years. I use them any more to get inspiration when I'm in a writing slump because sometimes the subleties of a different sound in your ear can take you to pleasurable places indeed.
What I would recommend to those having tuning troubles on a good quality 12, is to spend some dough on your axe and get your saddle completely compensated. True, this is time consuming for the luthier to do correctly and will be reflected on the invoice he hands you, but you will nver regret this!
Aloha & malama pono


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Greg in Australia
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 12:36 AM

Had a 12-string since age 19 after I emigrated from the UK to Australia, and never been without one since. There's something about those shimmering overtones that completely satisfies MY musical soul. Never play with picks - have learned to get the most out of it with fingertips (don't use my nails). Managed to record a 24 track CD ("EKO12") containing bluegrass instrumentals, a few songs and some classicals, just to show what a 12-string can do. Still have my original EKO (it would break my heart to part with it) but recently also bought a new Takamine 12 with pickup for a new CD of original songs.
The story on everything can be found on www.clancys.com.au/music/music.html
PS. The guy who said a capo puts him out of tune ... probably capo pressing the strings too hard ... try a SHUBB capo (use the 12-string version which has a longer bar)... it provides an infinite range for clamping pressure ... adjust it JUST enough to stop the strings buzzing.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 06:36 AM

I've nearly always had a 12-string in my armoury. The late Colin Scot was the first person I heard playing a decent one - a Gibson B45-12, and that prompted me to buy my first, cheap 12 - a £50 Egmond. It was not very well made and the neck warped within 2 years, but it did have something of the sound of Leadbelly's old Stella.

Over the years I've had Yamahas, a Takamine and a couple of Washburns, but my current Martin DM12 knocks them all into a cocked hat! It cost me about GBP500 and was sold as a factory second, but the only flaw I can find with it is the slightly uneven application of the finish. The sound, action and intonation are spot on, and superior to a D18-12 owned by a friend - his opinion as well as mine.

Another friend, Rick Thomas, owns the very Gibson B45-12 on which the Seekers intro to "I'll never find another you" was played.

I once had the opportunity to buy a Stan Francis 12, but turned it down because I didn't like the feel of the neck. Stupid decision, but there you go.

I covet George (el Greko)'s ability to fingerpick a 12, I still have to content myself with reasonably accurate flatpicking. I use an old Heriba capo, which has a plastic comb arrangement under the latex bar that frets the strings, and doesn't put them out, but I've nearly worn out the latex bit and I suspect that a replacement might be hard to find.

Don't think I'd have a 12 as my only guitar, but wouldn't be without one.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 11:31 AM

I own a '66 Guild 12. It is a wonderful instrument, with a great action and a voice to die for. Nicely balanced sound top to bottom. These old Guilds are heavy critters. I used to use it for rhythm and fingerstyle, but now I haul it out for specific songs, and mostly for fingerstyle when I am accompanying others. For example, we do Dark Island with our female fiddler/singer. When I accompany on that 12, it is magical. When I am performing solo, I use it a bit more than in the band. With a mando, fiddle, and banjo already in, the last thing we need is more treble strings.

As to the capo, I used to have the tuning problem until Rick Fielding hauled out an old "U style with a clamp bar" and modified it for me. Basically he put a new pad on it made of linoleum, and then filed compensation slots that matched the individual strings. It is the best capo I have ever had for the 12.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 05:51 PM

Thank you all for giving this incredible instrument it's due! I AM a serious modern 12-string player! My 1970's Ventura is pretty much my main instrument. Once I went with the 12, I just couldn't put it down! It contains my sound, and the sound of so many incredible players (thank you for mentioning Willie McTell, Mark). The time it takes me to string it is DEFINITELY worth the sound! From Celtic to Blues to Rock the 12-string has been there...


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 06:30 PM

When I met Lucinda Williams back in '72, when she was about 18-19 years old, she played a 12-string exclusively -- I'm pretty sure it was the only instrument she owned; may have been a Harmony, I don't remember for sure. And she fingerpicked it, with *four* fingers (thumb plus three, like a classical player except wearing picks.) That's some *strong* hands on a little teenaged girl!

She was doing more covers than originals back then -- lots of Robert Johnson and Skip James numbers -- but she was already a very impressive young songwriter, as well as a highly skilled player and a very intense and soulful singer. Intimidated the hell out of me, that's for sure. I still find it hard to believe that it took so many years for her to finally get the recognition she deserves.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 07:49 PM

Yes, Greg, I still have my old Eko Ranger 12 - far too quiet with a voice like mine!

My thirty-five year-old Yamaha FG260 really shouts, though! I've always used 'standard' tuning, with the occasional dropped 'D'.

I really cannot justify paying a lot of money out for anything else, the Yammy is in a class of its own!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 06:16 AM

I really love the 12 sound on the variax modelling acoustic sound guitar.

Whilst this may not be for the folk purist, or the guy who has a guitar tech and an entourage to sort out all his pre-gig stuff. I find this instrument very satisfactory for pub gigs and the occasional folk gig.

No more tuning problems, volume to die for, less hand strain - ease of access to open tunings.

Its not an easy instrument to get to terms with, having said that. However earlier this year, I was contemplating putting together a gig using several guitars and when this thing came out earlier in the year, I knew I had to look at it. It is getting there. the greater volume you have makes it difficult to judge - particularly in different roooms.

thats the current problem - there have been others. It took an age to understand how to tune it - the book was dreadful - luckily another mudcatter helped me out. All I'm saying is, if you want a 12 sound - you could do a lot worse if you're in a band.

I work solo. For small quiet folk clubs - the acoustic is best. But for anything larger - say venues of 150 or so - the variax takes a lot of the crap out of the job - tuning problems, feedback etc

anyway thats my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 03:06 PM

Yes, it all depends on what you're after. I've done coffeehouse gigs with just the 12 miked up, and no mike on my voice. Luckily I project enough that they could hear me at the back of the room!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 03:57 PM

Although the name suggests nothing to do with 12 string guitars. my first "new" guitar was a Stella 12 string which had a short neck (12 frets) no truss rod and an action that needed vice like fingers to play. The sound it produced was great although the tuning did sometimes leave a bit to be desired.
I then bought a japanese 12 string which eventually succumbed to a badly warped neck although a great sound impssible to keep in tune.
About 2 years ago, I found a Washbourn cut away 12string, tuned to concert pitch with an action to dream of. Hardly ever goes out of tune and capo's well.I still play this one regularly and it has a place amongst all my banjos.
I agree with former comments, that the 12 string is a special instrument in its own right. I have never regarded it a just another guitar with extra strings.
PS I met Stan Francis a while back on a visit to Lancashire.
Keep picin'


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 09:26 PM

Yes Dave, I was going to mention Pete. His provenance (from Donegan days) is considerable.

El Greko, I have not forgotten the song you wrote about (Because she did). I am just awaiting the return of a Bjarton BJ12E I got from Denmark, and it has a BIG sound - maybe when you re in Kent you could PM me and we could work on the song using that guitar...

Brian Rodgers (No Worries) also sometines picks a 12.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 04 - 11:35 AM

Does anybody else remember Mark Spolestra on the Blues Project Album. There was this lovely solo in France Blues that haunted me for years. Is Mark still around? Also on that album - - She's Gone. Dave Peabody and Hugh McNulty used to do a shit hot version of that.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: synbyn
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM

Check out Ian Kearey- his CD Preaching To The Convertible has one of the best cover shots ever! Saw him live last year & very powerful.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: red_clay
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 10:27 PM

geeezzzz,everytime i'm around a 12 string guitar player,all i hear is the ROOFTOP SINGERS'song,"walk right in!"
dang,is that the only song these folks know?
besides that,no 12 string guitar fits in oldtime and bluegrass music!
if you "folkies " love it,so be it! but i'm not a fan of it at all!!!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 02:39 AM

why respond to a 12-string thread then?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 07:54 AM

Strawhead use one, Malcolm their guitarist uses it exclusively, cannot recall him ever playing anything else


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: red_clay
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 07:57 AM

geezzzz chris,with that kind of attitude,why have threads here at all??


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: burntstump
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:01 AM

Gordon Lightfoot has played a Gibson B45 for nearly 40 years and swears by them for stage work and recording.
Sundown must be a classic 12 string song.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 11:42 AM

ROSS CAMPBELL OF RED DUSTER MUST BE ONE OF THE MOST TASTEFUL 12 STRING PLAYERS AROUND, HE FINGER PICKS HIS FYLDE 12 STRINGER LIKE TO DIE FOR


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Tom Stracke Southern CA.
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 06:27 PM

Gee, The 12 string. My EKO ranger 12 is my best friend. It's older thay my oldest Son. It's one of two 12 strings that share my emotions. The other is a 360 Ric. It's my calm. The sound,the strengh and emotion thay envoke is not of this world. They are demanding to play and yet rewarding to play. But find the lost cord on a 12 string and you find a love that will stay with you. I am only one of many Im sure. Thank you. Tom


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 05:34 AM

elves - please delete last post


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 07:42 AM

If you haven't heard Gordon Bok's recording "A Rogues Gallery of 12 string tunes" you haven't heard one of the best pickers I have ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 10:48 AM

Another player worth checking out is/was Pete Laity from Coventry. Very popular on the folkscene of the 80s/90s, Pete made a couple of LPs which demonstrated his truly virtuoso ability, albeit influenced by Gordon Giltrap (another whizz 12 stringer). Pete played a hand-made Rob Armstrong.
Nowadays, he tends to prefer making a lot of noise on a Fender Telecaster in the Aardvark Ceildh Band, and rarely plays the 12 string. Shame!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 03:59 PM

Okay, what about ten strings?

I acquired a Chinese-made Puerto Rican cuatro a while ago and I'm not quite sure yet what I can do with it. I play the ud a bit (and some related Middle Eastern fretless things tuned in fourths) so an instrument with the same sort of sensible tuning seemed like a good idea (low to high, it goes bB eE aA dd gg, none of those stoopid thirds like you get on guitars). It produces a massively solid sound for its size, but I still find the frets a bit of a nuisance.

I believe these have been used in country music, anybody know where? I can see where the sound fits in for a typical country/bluegrass lineup - in effect it's like a tenor mandolin.

Anybody use ud-style all-fourths tuning on a fretted 12-string?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Grab
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 01:32 PM

Jack, if you're in the UK then you should go and see Show of Hands. Steve Knightley uses a one of these. As you say, it projects amazingly - sounds a lot like a mandolin, and projects like a (good) mandolin, but it's a slightly different sound.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: leftydee
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 01:56 PM

Check out Peter Case. His album "Plays Like Hell" is a classic.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 05:09 PM

too hard to tune? too lazy to tune! try tuning my Spanish Laud which has 17 strings. Or my Harp which has 31. Or my Autoharp which has 35.
Or a Hammered Dulcimer which can easily have over 150. Or a grand Piano which has about 230.
   Most 6 string Guitars I see being played have dust. Many players of various instruments never clean their instruments. I've seen dust under the mechanisms of woodwinds, brasses, & percussion instruments-also lots of tarnish. I've pulled all kinds of things out of instruments including pianos, such as combs, papers, pens, pencils, baby rattles & other toys & things which can't be mentioned in polite company.
Sometimes people are just too lazy to do alot of things. Laziness may be the one thing that keeps some people from playing 12 stringed Guitars.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Greg Murf the Surf
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 05:44 AM

I bought a fender f57 12 string when I was 18,second hand and it was my main guitar for 30 years. I have a Martin DM 6 string I play now, but am looking at getting the Martin D12x1 this week. I love the sound of 12 stings. It is a joy to listen to and play. I am looking forward to playing one again.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,APB
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 11:48 AM

I have a Bradbury 12 sting from the early 1930s...it is a tiny guitar...say around 34"-35"...but HOLY WOW, it is the loudest guitar you will ever hear. Unbelievable how light the guitar is for being so loud...I keep it tuned two steps below concert pitch (C to C) and it is really just unreal. I love the fullness of 12 string whether finger picking or flat (though I honestly can't use a flat pick much on this guitar cuz it really does get too loud). I also have a pretty crappy Epiphone from the early 90s, though it's an okay sound.
Anyone know any good 12 string makers these days? I played a new Guild and they don't hold a candle to the old ones...any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: NormanD
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 12:51 PM

Just checking out this (and other) old 12-string thread. I've just borrowed an old 12-string which had failed the dusty fret board test (see above). It was a bugger to get in tune - awkward but not insurmountable - and my automatic pilot / default song was - you guessed it - "Walk Right In". And "Mr Tambourine Man".

I've tuned it down a semi-tone, but might try a whole tone as others have advised.

Any tips for songs that'll sound good for it? I don't mind if they're campfire-ish, I just want to develop a bit of confidence and more direction around the fretboard.

Norman


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: kendall
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 01:09 PM

Farewell to Nova Scotia works on a 12.
Duncan % Brady
Lonesome Robin
Patrick Spencer


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Wesley S
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 01:37 PM

Rock Island Line - or any other Leadbelly song.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 01:51 PM

A good old thread!

Nothing rings like a 12 when flat-picked or finger-picked, or has that rolling sustain. I have always been a sucker for any recorded music that has a twelve string jangling along in the rhythm, which is possibly why I'm stuck on the recorded music of 1965-1966. You HAD to have a 12 to be hip! Oh that those times should come again!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 02:16 PM

Lonesome EJ-funny you mention that about having a 12 string made you hip! Simon Nicol of Fairport has said that mere possession of a 12 string (which he claims he couldn't really play) gave him a usefulness for one of Ashley Hutchings' pre-Fairport ventures, which eventually led to Fairport's formation! So you are spot on!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 02:21 PM

Yeah,NormanD, according to Wesley S take an easy start with Irene and come to the end with Fannin Street, for example. Could be a fantastic journey with Huddie.
Or try to do Stop that Thing (version of John Koerner!) resp. Take your Hands off it which is relatively simple to play.
There are so many tunes suited for a 12 string.
While writing this my Guild 312-Special on the wall gently weeps,haha

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 02:21 PM

You be Serious, I'll be Roebuck. I love a 12, tuned Leadbelly style(down to B, double octave on the bottom, unison 3rd), but tendonitis is making things a bit difficult at the moment.
Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: NormanD
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 04:16 PM

OK, Ledbelly's gonna get a good looking at. I'll probably try Fannin Street via John Koerner. "Irene" is a little bit too campfire-ish, though straightforward to play.

Sod it - "Irene" will be the first!

Thanks
Norman


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Grab
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:01 AM

Anyone who doesn't try "Anji" on a 12-string doesn't know what they're missing. :-) One of these days I'll stop buying PA gear with my spare cash and buy an F212 instead...


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:04 AM

Check out Serious Sam Barrett (no joke) as a serious 12 stringer. www.myspace.com/sambarrett


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Laptop - no cookie
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 10:34 AM

No one mentioned open tuning yet! I was gonna get shot of my Hyundai (yes the same company) 12. Then one evening I tried it in open G. It sings!!

Try Linda Thompsons "NO telling" in open G.

Alan Clayton


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:01 AM

I bought a Stella 12 string about forty years ago but lost it in a fire- Fantastic instrument but an action so high I needed a step ladder to play it.
Now own & play regularly an old Washburn with a cut away body which I did a bit of rebuilding on.
Tuned to E and used regulary when a banjo wont suffice. Stays in tune even when stored in its case for weeks, and has an action as low as my six string Lakewood.
A great guitar


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:19 AM

The esteemed Bill Caddick does a fine job on a Framus

Baz


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:36 AM

I love when these old threads come back to life! I read the thread then got my 12 out of its case and we had a great time together!

I use my Yamaha 12 on the songs it suits. It is in normal tuning and keeps in tune. If you haven't tried a 12-string...........


Best wishes,


Peter


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 01:07 PM

Which technique do 12 stringers prefer to play this instrument? Finger-picking or do you use a plectrum? Or purely a "shaking hand"? Surely, most times this depends upon the tune (and your abilities). But apart from this, what's your personal preference?

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:14 PM

I've always (it seems) finger-picked instruments, starting on six-string guitar, five-string banjo (I blame Billy Connolly and Pete Seeger). Never figured out flat-picking on guitar to my satisfaction, so I don't do it. For a while I played tunes on a Portuguese mandolin (or Thueringer waldzither) - four double courses and a single bass fifth - with a plectrum, but went back to finger-picking that for song accompaniments. When I finally arrived at a twelve-string I liked (and now my instrument of choice after concertinas), it never occurred to me that there could be problems with finger-picking - so I never found any!?

When I'm not fingerpicking concertinas I fingerpick a Fylde Falstaff 12-string. I use a dropped-D tuning, but tune the whole thing a tone flat ie C Bb C F A D and capo at the 2nd fret to get back to D A D G B E. This capo (a Jim Dunlop) stays in place more or less permanently, and I use a Shubb capo to move around the fretboard. This seems to keep the intonation fairly well in line, and only occasional corrections to one or two strings are ever required. So I can't see where the hard work comes in. Or maybe I've just been lucky with the guitars I've found - having Roger Bucknall of Fylde Guitars just round the corner when he started off may have helped - I have always found his instruments a joy to play.

When I started getting interested in guitars (around 1965) there was a late-night programme on one of our two UK TV channels called "Hold Down a Chord", presented by John Pearse. He took a half-dozen beginners through the basics of song-accompaniment, and introduced them and audiences to the likes of Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy and others. The series was followed by another on finger-style guitar which I think introduced the idea of guitar tablature to help figure out fingering. That's what got me started, and I've just kept going from there - if you stop learning, you might as well just stop!

Today, even with umpteen digital channels, you couldn't find such a programme in the listings. How do you learn these days?

I guess some things like guitar tabs are more readily available with the Internet, and a few YouTube videos I have seen could give you pointers to how to play stuff, but seeing people playing live was always the best for me - in the '70s you could go to a folk-club every night in a twenty-mile radius from here (and I occasionally tried!), but now there's only one club in the North-West booking guests on a weekly basis (the Clarence, Blackpool). And twelve-string players are pretty rare in the line-up - but that wouldn't decide for me whether to go to a gig, anyway. A good player of whatever instrument is always worth hearing/seeing. You can always take some little thing away to try - I'm still trying to figure out some of John James' ragtime guitar pieces for Anglo concertina!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 02:06 PM

RossCampbell, was a real pleasure, to read your contribution!

Many thanks,

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 04:18 PM

Thanks, Manfred

I should also have credited a few other influences when I was starting out. A whole bunch of us at school all seemed to find guitar at the same time, so there was that helpful rivalry/copying thing going on. Already interested in folk music through the Clancy Brothers, Spinners, Corries, Islanders, Robin Hall & Jimmy MacGregor etc, I roomed with a guy at Strathclyde and competed over who could master Anji or Classical Gas first - it seems amazing to me now that you could buy the sheet music for Davey Graham's Anji in any music store in Glasgow back then ( I still have it somewhere)- try finding it now! Discovered the Glasgow Folk Centre in the top of a tenement opposite the old Anderson's University building. They had a library of LPs you could borrow for very little, found the Incredible String Band in amongst their collection. Strathclyde University Folk Club used the rooms on Wednesday evenings - Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes played some of their earliest gigs there, others I remember were Alan Tall and old Davey Stewart. Brian Miller seemed to be running the club (one of the other residents I remember was Artie Tresize) and also taught folk guitar on Wednesday afternoons when we had no classes and were supposed to be engaging in athletic pursuits. I learned claw-hammer from Brian and I guess that still forms the basis of how I play (though you might not recognize it!) The last I heard of him he had joined the folk/traditional teaching staff at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama under Brian McNeill (Battlefield Band). I somehow missed the ISBs, either they had moved on before I reached Glasgow or I was asleep for my first couple of years at Uni (a real possibility). Archie Fisher and the East Fife Road Show stand out in my memory, and Archie later became a regular visitor (and poster-boy!) at the Fylde guitar factory in Kirkham. His first album was and remains one of my favourites. It's one of the few that Dave Bulmer (Celtic Music) got around to re-releasing. A long-gone guitar hero from that time was Hamish Imlach. Notorious back then for drug busts, "Cod-Liver Oil and the Orange Juice" and other songs of real life in central Scotland that your mother and father would prefer you didn't know (or sing), he could get some great blues and ragtime licks out of his Guild guitar. Gordon Giltrap was another Fylde customer (and another of those magicians who can make a six-string sound like a twelve-string and a twelve-string sound like a quartet). Still haven't got my head round Rizraklary (sp?) forty years on. That was on an album of acoustic guitar (The Guitar Sampler) which also featured Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell and a host of others, all of whom I followed up for tunes and playing-styles.

Some of these guys are still playing forty years on, but where are the players of today? And who are they? Any nominations?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Britt
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 11:07 PM

I play finger style 12-string guitar. I think the 12-string is the best acoustic instrument to practice on, because it is harder. On the left hand, bar chords, pull-offs and hammers are more difficult. And on the right hand, it takes a lot of practice to accurately play between the narrower courses of the 12-string, and more finger strength and control to attack two strings, instead of one.

The good thing about a 12-string guitar is that they're easier to sing with. With all those strings, even a poor singer like myself, can sometimes be in tune with one of them.

The guitar I play is a National steel-bodied 12-string Delphi. I play blues and ragtime, and when I'm on top of it, this guitar is something to hear.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 28 Feb 08 - 02:52 AM

Used to have a very nice 69 Martin D-12-35 which I sold years ago. Recently, I've been rehearsing for an upcoming traditional recording using my wife's 'Martin label' Takamine 12 string. All solid mahogany. The tuners are original and though they're a fairly lowgrade set they hold pitch very well. The 3 songs selected so far for 12 string are 'Flora, The Lily of the West', 'The Last Rose of Summer' and 'Wildwood Flower'. It's like falling in love. I find myself getting lost in the shimmering tones just sitting and playing G and C back and forth for 1/2 an hour.

The one thing I've really had to work on is 'sounding' both strings when doing melody/rhythm solos. There's practically no such thing as an 'upstroke' while playing a melody because the smaller 'octave' string wont ring on the upstroke. I'm also at the same time trying to do arrangements of 'Wade in the Water' w/a 'dropped D' and 'Wafaring Stranger' w/t same tuning. Neither of those songs will be played on 12, but it's whipping me into shape, that's for sure. What it's forcing me to do is to re-develope my finger picking w/finger picks instead of bare fingers. She's stern taskmaster, this Miss Tak and isn't giving up her music easily, but I've a feeling when I've earned it she'll reveal she's had a heart and soul of pure gold the whole time.

When I get a keeper take on any of the aforementioned songs I'll post them on my myspace page and let you all have at it...and in true Mudcat fashion I'll expect to be called on it if I cut any corners.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 09:25 AM

I'm a lefty ragtime picker and came across a 12 on ebay so I just had to get it. it's a Daon (rebadged Yamaki).Got a great sound but I think the trebles are a bit thin.
Now I had an LP of Mississippi John Hurt. the photo showed him holding a 12 string and the unusual thing is the trebles had a wire wound string like the bass's. this would give a richer sound to the thin end. but what string could it be? They were strung opposite of the bass's.
I suspect the E would be an extra light wire wound and the B might be
an extra light A wire wound. I dunno, any clues anyone before I file a bigger slot?.But aint it easy to play a six after playing a 12?
MJM's Casey Jones goes real well on a 12 by the way.
Leo Kotke plays some kind of open tuning


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 09:36 AM

I had a Daion 12 string for 20 years - great sound, loads of volume - played it as a 12, then a 6, then a 9 string before getting hold of a 6 string Norman and realising there were much easier guitars to play out there. Now I have a 12 string Norman to go with it - absolutely brilliant guitar.

I'm still tempted to ditch the octave strings on the E, A and D though as it gives loads of bass punch and a very distinctive sound that sets it out from the crowd.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Sean
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 01:48 PM

I happened upon this thread sifting through posts about Snaker Ray. At the expense of committing the inexcusable crime of shameless self promotion, I thought this would be the place for it. Here goes.

I haven't played out often, barring acting as an opener a few times for psychedelic bands who's fans cast disconcerted stares, but I'd like to consider myself a 12-string player...serious depends on the context. Opinions from folk/blues enthusiasts such as yourselves would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

-Sean


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: olddude
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 02:15 PM

Sean
"in the Pines" very nice job


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 02:42 PM

4 good jobs, Sean.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Sean
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for the kind words. Any criticism is appreciated, too; I'd rather it be blunt internet anonymity than patronising smirks from people concerned with feelings and all that. Just shoot me a message or something.

-Sean


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,jimlee337
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:29 PM

I got my first 12-string in 1966 and have had a love affair with that lasted longer than the one I had with my wife! Over the years I've had a number ofthem "JG", Yamaha, Martin (D12-35 and DM-12). When I started playing the coffee house scene in the Seattle "U-district" the lead guitar would make me sit at the back of the stage so I wouldn't drown him out.

Since that time I've gotten married, widowed, grandfathered, and old. Tendonitis/arthritis...it makes it difficult to play as often as would like, but the love affair continues...

The point of all this is that I've found myself becoming increasingly "bluegrass" over the years and thought that the 12-string was doing a fine job on some of the ballads like "Down in the Willow Garden" so I was suprised to hear that the 12-string hasn't had a place in bluegrass.

Why is that?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:34 PM

I would think the lack of 12-strings in bluegrass is down to speed. The particular wonderful heavy sound of a 12 just gets muddied up at the frantic tempos used by modern bluegrass players. Things need time to ring to get the full effect of those octaves I think.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Alan Kershaw
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 06:31 PM

Greg,

Have you heard Dan Crary?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 08:56 PM

Doc Watson picked some mean 12 string on The Train that Carried My Girl From Town, Beaumont Rag, and Rising Sun Blues back on one (or two?) of those old Vanguard LP's.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 09:39 PM

Are there any light-hearted trivial minded 12 string guitarists out there?


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 10:34 PM

I do what I can when the mood takes me, Al.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Bernard
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 03:57 PM

Yup!


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,GUy---unison/laughing stranger
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 10:30 PM

yeah, there are.
I have been playing the ovation 12 string since the 1970's.
listen to "so many miles" and "again" on this site

http://www.myspace.com/guyvaniderstine


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 10:48 PM

I play 12 string a lot. I used to play Pete's old 12 string until he had his new one made.
He would listen to my playing.. We used it on our Nonesuch.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 11:04 PM

I own a 12 string but I'm sad to say I don't dig it out much because I feel like it's swallowing me. ( I'm a very small Irishman)

- Shepard


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: matt milton
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 05:58 AM

here's a serious 12-string player:

Serious Sam Barrett

http://serioussambarrett.bandcamp.com/album/close-to-home

Sam's from Leeds


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: RTim
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 08:12 AM

The great American musician and singer - Tim Eriksen plays
the - BAJO SEXTO which is a version of the 12 string,
see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bajo_Sexto

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 09:13 PM

Not sure if this site is still active but, I am looking for help. Started playing a 12 string recently, and haven't played guitar for over 30 years. I bought a 2nd hand Ovation Celebrity and think it sounds pretty good. Then, I went into a Guitar Center store to buy a capo and wandered into the 12 String section, picked up a Martin 12 string and fell in love with the sound. I understand there is a difference in the instruments/price but was curious if it could possibly be a function in the strings?

Any insight would be great.


GMoney


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:25 AM

Hi Guest, You'll soon see that the site is very active, I'll leave the tech reasons to the experts but will say it's not the strings although strings do make a difference, it's the way the instrument is constructed, what it's made of and how it's 'set up' and tuned. Look at the threads listed at the top of this one. Welcome back to playing and to what sounds like the start of your guitar collection!!.
Al


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:30 AM

Oh yes, I was listening to a Martin 12 last night at Faversham Folk club when Chris and Dave of Porchswing Blues turned up.
Al


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 08:45 AM

GUEST, the strings may have something to do with it. Before falling too deeply in love with that Martin 12, slap a new set of strings on the Ovation you already have and see if it doesn't sound much better. A $12.00 set of strings is much cheaper than a $2,000 guitar.

That doesn't mean the Ovation with new strings is going to sound like the Martin. Generally speaking, an Ovation 12 is going to have a little less sustain and 12-string jangle than a Martin, and much less than a jumbo-bodied Guild or Taylor. How much sustain you want depends largely on your playing style. A chord strummer may want maximum sustain while a single-note picker may want less.

Personally, while I don't care for Ovation 6-strings, I like their 12s. You can actually play fiddle tunes on them without it sounding like mud.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 01:12 AM

Guest - sling the Ovation 12 into the bin (or sell it on) and go buy that Martin. I have owned in my time an Eko 12, an Ovation Celebrity 12 and now the love of my life is an early Japanese Sigma/Martin DR 12-28. Believe me, the Ovation 12 sounds OK if you only ever play it amplified, but unamplified it is unacceptably tinny. I also had going-out-of-tune issues with mine, as well.

The big, resonanant sound of the Martin is completely different and you will never, ever make the two sound different. Chalk and cheese.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 01:13 AM

Oops, sorry! That guest was Fossil, at work, sans cookie


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 10:47 AM

If you are re-learning to play after 30 years off, the Ovation will be just fine for a few years. As usual, I've heard great 12s made by many manufacturers. When a pair of jeans fit you the way you want, them's good jeans.

(Strings do make a difference, but not all that much of a difference, assuming they are the correct gauge for the style you play. If strings made that much of a difference, they'd be the answer folks are looking for, but they alone ain't the answer.)

I had an Ovation (six string) for about a week and I gave it away. Wasn't for me. I have also met players who swear by them. Good guitars are good guitars. Great guitars are rare, and people will let you know their favourites. BUT, one man's cordon bleu is another man's gruel. It has always been thus.

Best wishes to you.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Rick Masters
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 08:13 PM

Hi all, I enjoyed reading this thread. I have also had a love affair with 12-strings for many years. My first was a brand new acoustic Harmony I bought after saving my money all summer back in 1970. It was the very same model Ringo Starr used on is debut album. Three assholes with knives took it from me a month later. Then somewhere around 1980, I picked up a beautiful sounding Takamine that is still my choice for recording today. And I just got my old rosewood Guild F-312 back from a crack repair yesterday and I am struggling to become friends with it again. It is SO different than the Takamine!! The Guild growls and roars while the Takamine purrs and sings. The Takamine has a Roland G3 synthesizer pickup and an ancient 6-string in-hole pickup for the FX. I actually dislike the sound of acoustic 12-strings and would rather play a 6-string when there is no electrification. But with an amp and FX, the 12-string becomes very unique and I never tire of it. The sustain is wonderful. There is an entire universe in any two chords. I have a strange style that utilizess the string tension of the 12-string to bounce on -- I call it "trampoline" -- and sometimes I take off a few accompaniment strings to get the sound I want, so I guess I'm turning it into an 8 or 9 string guitar -- except it's still really a 12-string, I think. I use a bare hand with a long thumbnail. I'm not sure what my right hand is doing. I can't see it or my thumb -- it's just a blur -- because it moves to fast or my mind works too slow or something. And if I try to force myself to play, the result is horrible. I have to just let my hands take over and kick back, then it works. It's like somebody else took over my body. It's like the opposite of what most 12-string players do, I think. I mean, I don't even know what chords I'm playing, I had an accident when I was a kid and I think in shapes, not symbols, when I play music, so it's really hard to explain. You can find me on Last.fm or Soundcloud if you want to freak yourself out.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST,Rick Masters
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 08:55 PM

link
https://soundcloud.com/rick-masters/infinite-journey-avocoder?in=rick-masters/sets/man-shall-follow-album


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: Mooh
Date: 09 Jun 13 - 08:22 AM

A couple of songs with my contemporary Irish/Canadian singer friend and band were in need of a change and the simple solution was the sonic addition of a 12 string. There was room in the mix, and the jingle-jangle sound isn't enough to sway the strong singer. Complacency and laziness sometimes makes me ignore the sonic advantages of changing it up, but in truth a 12 string (or dobro, or alternate tuning, or baritone, or nylon, or bouzouki...) can be just what the doctor ordered.

One thing I like is the occasional zouk-like tones one can get by using just the lower courses, or the occasional mando-like tones one can get by using just the higher courses in the higher positions. I wouldn't likely use these for a whole song, but for some embellishment, it's useful.

I'd rather use a 12 string than electronic chorus effect, and I'd rather use a 12 string than a second guitarist for select songs.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Any serious 12 strings players left?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 15 - 02:35 AM

the twelve string is pretty much as easy as a 6 to play .
Its qualities are so much more .
   I have an 1984 Ovation ballarder deep bowl -ooh the richness of it all.
I play with it in standard tuning but have been known to tune it to alternate tunings -such a fun guitar...
This ovations sound has just improved over the years ,the guitar gets better with age and I have never had an issue with it .
I am using it on new songs and I will never give up the 12 shes so right ...GUy from Unison ....


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