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12 String Guitars - why?

GUEST,Silas 03 Oct 10 - 05:26 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 06:33 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Oct 10 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Silas 03 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM
David C. Carter 03 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Silas 03 Oct 10 - 07:10 AM
David C. Carter 03 Oct 10 - 07:15 AM
greg stephens 03 Oct 10 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Silas 03 Oct 10 - 07:34 AM
Suffet 03 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM
banjoman 03 Oct 10 - 08:16 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Oct 10 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 03 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 03 Oct 10 - 08:41 AM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM
Rumncoke 03 Oct 10 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,999 03 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM
greg stephens 03 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM
David C. Carter 03 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,999 03 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 11:05 AM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 11:07 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM
Tim Leaning 03 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM
greg stephens 03 Oct 10 - 11:58 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 12:06 PM
Mark Ross 03 Oct 10 - 12:06 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 10 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,999 03 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM
olddude 03 Oct 10 - 01:22 PM
Will Fly 03 Oct 10 - 01:35 PM
MikeL2 03 Oct 10 - 02:00 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 10 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Ian Gill 03 Oct 10 - 02:16 PM
Brian May 03 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 10 - 03:03 PM
Cretzon 03 Oct 10 - 04:27 PM
mauvepink 03 Oct 10 - 05:09 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 10 - 05:19 PM
s&r 03 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM
maeve 03 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM
Art Thieme 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 PM
Mooh 03 Oct 10 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,mauvepink 04 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 10 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Ed 05 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 10 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 05 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Silas 05 Oct 10 - 10:39 AM
bankley 05 Oct 10 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,punkfokrocker 05 Oct 10 - 11:02 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 10 - 12:09 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 10 - 12:27 PM
evansakes 05 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
Don Firth 05 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM
George Papavgeris 05 Oct 10 - 05:43 PM
kendall 05 Oct 10 - 07:40 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 10 - 07:48 PM
Jack Campin 27 Sep 19 - 06:50 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Sep 19 - 06:56 PM
Nick 27 Sep 19 - 07:40 PM
bbc 27 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Jerry 28 Sep 19 - 04:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 19 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Jerry 28 Sep 19 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Ray 28 Sep 19 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Sep 19 - 06:16 AM
gillymor 29 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM
Mark Ross 29 Sep 19 - 10:15 PM
PHJim 30 Sep 19 - 03:10 PM
BobKnight 01 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Ray 01 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Starship 01 Oct 19 - 11:26 AM
punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM
Stringsinger 01 Oct 19 - 02:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 19 - 02:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 19 - 02:41 PM
PHJim 02 Oct 19 - 02:45 PM
leeneia 04 Oct 19 - 12:49 PM
gillymor 04 Oct 19 - 01:05 PM
gillymor 04 Oct 19 - 01:25 PM
punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Ray 05 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM
punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 19 - 11:01 AM
gillymor 05 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM
leeneia 06 Oct 19 - 07:29 PM
gillymor 06 Oct 19 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 07 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM
Jack Campin 07 Oct 19 - 06:17 AM
Stringsinger 09 Oct 19 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Jerry 09 Oct 19 - 05:53 PM
skarpi 09 Oct 19 - 07:08 PM
Stringsinger 10 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM
PHJim 11 Oct 19 - 09:48 AM
leeneia 13 Oct 19 - 03:28 PM
PHJim 15 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM
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Subject: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:26 AM

What are 12 string guitars all about? I hate 'em.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:33 AM

More noise, more internal harmonies on each chord (well, repeats of existing harmonies). It's important to me that the bass strings are not overwhelmed by the octaves and trebles, but happily that is the case on my Mugen THE78-12. If you are playing internal melodies within the chords, they have the double-stopped quality of Noel Redding's bass work on the Hagstrom 8-string bass with Hendrix - or if you prefer, of an octave mandola although the chord inversions are different.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:44 AM

Pete Seeger ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM

Pete who?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM

Are you extracting the urine?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:10 AM

nah.

The fact that Pete Seeger may play one does not make it right! Bill Caddick also plays one, I just don't see the point.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:15 AM

Try Leadbelly.

Who?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:33 AM

1) They are sexy
2) Leadbelly

How many reasons do you need?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:34 AM

Leadbelly - 12 string?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Suffet
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM

Greeings:

Like other instruments in the guitar family, the 12-string guitar can be used for several purposes.

• Leadbelly used it as a loud rhythm instrument to accompany his loud tenor voice. He also used it for thumb leads to repeat the melody in caller-response fashion between vocal phrases.

• Jesse Fuller was essentially a one-man band, and he used the 12-string guitar because its full bodied sound gave the feeling that it was more than a single instrument.

• Mark Spoelstra used it to play complicated rhythmic and melodic conversations between the bass and the treble.

• Pete Seeger does all of the above, but he also uses it for soft accompaniments, where its array of overtones provides a richness than neither his banjo nor a 6-string guitar can supply.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: banjoman
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:16 AM

I have owned and played lots of 12 stringers and should make the point that if you just want something a bit louder than your 6 string then suggest you get an amplifier, as the 12 string is, in my opinion, a completely different instrument which shares the same chord structure as the 6 string. I use mine for specific pieces.

Incidentally Silas - Leadbelly played a Stella 12 string and is regarded as a virtuoso on the instrument. I was fortunate enough to own a Stella until some traveller pinched it and then lost it in a fire.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:20 AM

Whatever, as they say, turns you on! ~~ but what, precisely, is "sexy" about a 12-string guitar? [I have no particular axe to grind {no pun intended} in this controversy, as I think the world is quite wide enough to accommodate both 6- and 12-string guitars, and it is a pure matter of taste as to whether one prefers to play one or the other or both ~~ but I am just curious as to what Greg finds 'sexy' about them.]

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM

12-strings are not always noiser. My EKO 12 Ranger (1968) is quieter okayed hard than my Aria and Takamine 6's. My Takamine 12 throws a lot of sound out.

I think 12's suit different types of song at different times. The harmonics are truly wonderful and some songs seem to be lifted by them that little bit more. They are quite good when part of a band too and not just played alone.

Versatility is increased with a 12 I think because you always get more harmony by it's nature.

I love most stringed instruments. 12's are just a different tool in the whole musical armoury

mp


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:41 AM

Terrible typo! okayed (ist line) was meant to be played

Sorry

mp


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM

Well, the 12-string has its good points and bad points, right? Good point is that it has a unique sound which is very rich and melodious.

Bad point is that you have 12 strings to change and to keep in tune! And it can feel a bit cumbersome compared to a 6-string, specially if it's not set up quite right.

But some people love them, and for some it is their primary instrument. I think that's the case for Gordon Bok, who plays an Apollonio 12-string. Gordon Lightfoot has used a 12-string on a fair number of his songs.

There's a woman in my local area who plays nothing but the 12-string. She has an utterly superb Taylor 12-string that plays like a dream, being perfectly set up, and she plays it very well. I owned a Guild 12-string for a while, a great big heavy jumbo guitar, and I found it interesting, but never got too good at playing it. Eventually I took the octave strings off, and played it as a 6-string instead. ;-) Then I finally sold it to someone.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 09:00 AM

Guitars with double strings are the older type of instrument - even though it was difficult to get good strings for them way back, and someone had to devise better ways to make them too - devising frets and fan struts.

The four and five course guitars evolved into the modern six stringed ones, then technology did a double take and turned up the 12 string - with strings which match.

The guitar seems to have been an instrument in need of better technology for a long time before it got it.

Anne


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM

One might ask the same of any instrument. No end to stupid questions.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM

In case anyone still doesn't know why 12-strings are sexy, have a listen to this: Leadbelly sings the Midnight Special


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

Silas,Listen to Blind Willie McTell.

I can't be arsed to say why.The music speakes for itself!


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM

Nice job there by Leadbelly! What brand of guitar was he playing?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:57 AM

12-strings: they came about so The Rooftop Singers could do `Walk Right In`.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:05 AM

Leadbelly was reputed to play a ladder-framed Stella tuned 4 semitones down from concert to C. I think it is still in his museum.

Space Oddity would not be the same without David Bowie's Hagstrom BJ12E on it.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:07 AM

Down to "C"! Well, that would really strengthen the bass end, wouldn't it? Nick Apollonio specializes in building 12-strings, and he recommends tuning them down to "D".


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM

It wouldn't necessarily make it louder down at the deep end. That is largely a matter of resonance, mostly of the top, and ladder frames behave very differently from X-braced guitars. I keep all of my 12s up at concert, but only use light (10-47) strings.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM

I see. I thought it might produce a louder bass, because when I tune a 6-string down to dropped D, for example, that low bass end seems to have a lot of authority.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM

Hmmm this brings back guilty memories of the twelve string I got a couple of years back and still needs its first new set of strings putting on.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:58 AM

Richard Bridge suggests that Leadbelly tuned down two tones(bottom string to C). I have also seen other suggestions, that he commonly tuned down to D. Maybe he varied. What I am certain of is that in the Midnight Special clip I linked to earlier he is playing in A-shapes, and it is coming out in the key of A.You can be sure of this from the distictive sound of the open E A and D strings. ie he is either playing on a conventionally tuned guitar in A, or in a down tuned guitar capoed up as many frets as he tuned down in semitones. The latter is quite likely I would think.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 12:06 PM

I have also seen suggestions that Leadbelly tuned down to B - in fact I think there was a thread on here about it a year or so ago.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 12:06 PM

Lead Belly tuned down to B(sometimes Bflat). I think that Blind Willie McTell tuned down to A.
Think of it as a baritone guitar.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 12:14 PM

Ah - here is more info: -

thread.cfm?threadid=4600


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 01:11 PM

well errrm... 12 string acoustics can sound a bit effete
and encourage the playing of all sorts
of girly MOR [ahem...] wine bar 'acoustic soft rock'...


..but a 12 string solid body Shergold electric in the hands of a real manly rough cidered up guitar thug
overdriving a class A valve amp...

proper job beat music!!!!!!


http://www.shergold.co.uk/imgviewer.html?class=shergoldinfo&name=leaflet1-2.jpg&returnto=originfo.html


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM

. . . and there ya have it, folks.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: olddude
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 01:22 PM

Gave my mid 60's Martin 12 string to my brother. Even perfectly setup it was hard to play for me, and I finger pick so that killed that, and then I just didn't like the sound ... I guess it is all a matter of taste. My brother now plays it as a 6 string ... hmmm didn't think of that LOL .. I should have kept it


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 01:35 PM

Space Oddity would not be the same without David Bowie's Hagstrom BJ12E on it.

It's debatable whether Bowie played that instrument on the actual recording of 'Space Oddity'. The main guitarist, doing most of the guitar work on that single, was the late (and very great) Mick Wayne, who was paid a flat rate of £10 for his work on the record.

For those who don't know Mick, he led a fairly underground group in the '60s called "Juniors Eyes", did a spell with the Pink Fairies and toured with Joe Cocker - principally on the US tour of "Mad Dogs and Englishmen". I knew him and his bass-playing brother Rob (still my solicitor and best friend!) in the late '60s and early '70s, before his very untimely death in an apartment fire in the US. He was one of the very best of musicians.

Apologies for the thread-jacking - 'twas the mention of 'Space Oddity' that triggered it...


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: MikeL2
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:00 PM

hi Dan

I had a Yamaha 12 string and like you at the time I finger-picked mostly.I suppose that I really didn't try too hard so I sold it on to my brother-in-law who still plays it but he just strums it as a rhythm guitar.

I am not sure how it would have sounded with only six strings ????

Never tried that.

I just never managed to get the sound I wanted out of it. Maybe I wasn't holding my mouth right...lol

Regards

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM

Okay, so they work far better for solid strumming or carter picking than for fingerpicking, correct?


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:13 PM

Historically, many hand-plucked stringed instruments have been double strung. The lute in its many permutations (including the mandolin, which is actually a small lute that people still play, not knowing that it is, historically, a small lute), the Spanish vihuela, the early guitars.

The granddaddy of most of these instruments was the Moorish oud, which was introduced into Spain in the seventh century (I believe, but I wasn't actually there). The word oud (actually "al oud") morphed linguistically into "lute." The doubled strings were called "courses." The fairly standard, basic lute (CLICKY) had five courses, and a top single string called a "chanterelle."

Then, there is the direct ancestor of the modern guitar and the 12-string guitar:   the baroque guitar (
CLICKY), which had five courses (five doubled strings).

Here is a sample of a local Seattle girl (Elizabeth CD Brown, who teaches guitar and lute locally) playing a baroque guitar:   (TWANG!!)

So the 12-string guitar is sort of a modern version of the vihuela.

I've heard a twelve string guitar played like a classic guitar, and it sounds like a harpsichord with an excess of testosterone.

Don Firth

P. S. Why a 12-string guitar? Might as well ask, "Why a big grand piano?" when there are much smaller spinets that take up less space.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:14 PM

primer lesson in electric 12 string..

enjoy vintage Seachers, Byrds, Beatles LPs..


pick out the chiming riffs and lead lines..


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Ian Gill
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:16 PM

May as well hate oboes or dulcimers or ... I used to play in a band with someone who opined [tongue in cheek ?] that Blowzabella would have been a great band if they'd got rid of those infernal kazoo players...
    12 string guitars - why not !


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM

What a bloody stupid question . . .

I don't like Rap music, so I just don't listen to it.

There are some patient answers above. Personally, I love them and have just bought a D12-28 Martin and it's a beaut.

Like a respondent above, I use it only for specific numbers where it can be played very softly to give a deep background accompaniment, or pick out certain strings to underline the melody - that all with a soft flatpick.

Also, it can be finger-picked. Mine is tuned two semi-tones down, although it doesn't need to be.

Lovely instrument. So, if you don't like them, exercise your democratic right to ignore them.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 03:03 PM

As Pete Seeger once said, "You don't have to play a lot of notes. But just be sure that the notes you do play are important."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Cretzon
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 04:27 PM

Someone else's views on the 12 stringer, following a similar question. Difference is, though - his views are worth listening to. Matter of opinion, of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ0nPBRbXLM


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: mauvepink
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:09 PM

My 12's are ordinary concert pitch and I can pick easy enough with a capo up to 5th fret

mp


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:19 PM

Thanks for all the good info, folks.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: s&r
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM

I always think it's like playing a tremolo tuned mouth organ vs a blues harp. The tremolo is the beat betwee two notes that are nearly the same (or nearly an octave apart)

Stu


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: maeve
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM

Gordon Bok "A Rogue's Gallery of Songs for the 12 String"
http://www.timberheadmusic.com/audio/McKeonsComing_clip.mp3

http://www.timberheadmusic.com/audio/Belamena_clip.mp3

http://www.timberheadmusic.com/audio/Blackbird_clip.mp3

These are enough reasons for me.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 PM

In the hands of the masters of the instrument, the sounds created to enhance a given song will create a final production that makes the term "gestalt" a profundity devoutly to be wished.

Listen to what the master of various individual stylistic perfections can do with a 12-string guitar----and you will understand.

Leadbelly--if only for his song "Fannin Street" he is number one in my estimation.

Bob Gibson -- dozens of great uses of the instrument on many records and hundreds of songs.

Gordon Bok--similar results

Michael Cooney--to my ears he is the only one to perform "Fannin Street" close to what Leadbelly did on it.

Pete Seeger--Pete's version of "Bells of Rhymney" was truly a tour deforce.

There are others, but these come to me tonight right off the top.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:32 PM

Leo Kottke was the reason I was attracted to the 12 string. I have a good one, use it a lot. Sometimes it's the jingle jangle, sometimes the harmonic structure of chords, sometimes just because the tonal texture is different than the over-used 6 string.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM

Don't forget "The Seekers" who had a wizard 12-string player that always sounds great

:-)

mp


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

I'm convinced that the appeal of early Beatles music was that they simulated the sound of the 12-string with their electric instruments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY_6b4-N9Uo

What do you think?

Keep in mind that it's one thing to have a sound like that on your stereo, where you can just turn it down if it bugs you. It's something else to be in a live situation (session, church) where somebody might be whacking away right into a sensitive ear.


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

[The] Beatles... simulated the sound of the 12-string with their electric instruments

No, they took the easier option of using electric 12 string guitars....

(Rickenbackers, if you're interested)


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:24 AM

I accompany 70% of my songs on 12-string. Sure, it's louder, it has more harmonics etc. But as I fingerpick it, the telling point for me is: I can play riffs on it that would sound strange on a 6-string (the Circles in the Air / Empty Handed riffs are such examples), but the double coursing of the 12 string makes it sound as if I play a continuous scale even when I am in fact alternating high- and low E strings. It fools the ear just enough to get away with it.

Put it this way - there are songs that I cannot possibly play on 6-string, they will sound bad. But on the 12-string they sound natural.

Plus, when I "go native" in some of the tunes I can make it sound a little like a bouzouki.

Mauvepink, I too tune at concert pitch and capo up to 5th (if needed) without problems in fingerpicking.

Silas, I acknowledge your right to dislike any instruments. I am sure you are a very nice person. Shame I am unlikely to see you at any gigs now that you know I play the 12-string mostly... It could have been great...


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

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

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

:-)

mp


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

Hi George

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

You're just hard boiled George


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

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

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


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

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

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

Don Firth


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

I love the sound! Gordon Bok.

bbc


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Mark Ross


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

Because it sounds so good.

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Try Thomastik 12 string sets on it.


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

Interesting, I'd never heard of Thomastik.

Do you use them?


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

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

They must be great.

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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Check out the Beatles Bible or Wikipedia for more info.


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

Actually GH is holding a Gibson ES-345.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

But it would sound a bit crap...


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

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

From Guitarworld

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


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

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


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

No, it was a 12 string.


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Like the Portuguese Guitar?


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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Subject: RE: 12 String Guitars - why?
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM

John Denver's 18 string Gibson


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