12 String Guitars

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About 12 String Guitars

12 string acoustic guitars deserve plenty of attention and at guitarguitar we make sure there is always an excellent selection available instore and online. We take our time picking models for stock so that you can be assured of quality, regardless of price. We stock 12 string acoustic guitars from brands including Takamine, Yamaha, Sigma, Martin and Taylor in a variety of body sizes to ensure you find the correct sound and the correct fit.

Frequently Asked Questions about 12 String Guitars

The majority of 12 string acoustic guitar bodies are dreadnought shapes because the bigger size and greater projection works particularly well with the extra harmonic information from the strings to produce a loud, full and satisfying sound. The general rule is essentially the bigger the better so you'll find some great 12 string acoustics like the Alvarez AJ80CE featuring a larger Jumbo body size. There are exceptions though: the Taylor 352CE 12 string has been designed specifically to produce a large and beautiful sound with a smaller Grand Concert body shape.
Nashville tuning is a special tuning that uses only the higher strings from a twelve string guitar, ignoring the 'normal' strings. Nashville tuning is so called because lots of Country music producers use guitars specially strung and tuned to Nashville tuning to add sparkle and dimension to their recordings. It is relatively normal to see 12 string guitars in studios with half of their strings removed to achieve the Nashville sound. Both 6 string and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars can utilise Nashville tuning if careful tuning and selection of string gauge is used.
The normal tuning for a twelve string involves tuning the secondary string on the lower four strings an octave higher than its partner, so the two bottom strings are both tuned to E with the thinner string being one octave higher than the thicker one. This carries through until we reach the upper B and E strings, which are tuned in unison since guitar strings can't be physically tuned too much higher! In other words, the tuning, from low to high, looks a little like this: E (+1 octave), E, A (+1 octave), A, D (+1 octave), D, G (+1 octave), G, B, B, E, E. All standard guitar tuners will recognise these pitches so you should be fine to use whichever you prefer.
There is a little period of adjustment when learning to play two strings at once instead of one. Plus there is a good deal more tension across the strings which may make holding down barre chords slightly more difficult for a little while. Thankfully, your hands will quickly grow accustomed to the changes and the resulting tones are more than worth the small adjustments required.