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12 string

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GUEST,Dazbo 01 Aug 06 - 07:45 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Aug 06 - 08:38 AM
Mooh 01 Aug 06 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Aug 06 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Aug 06 - 09:41 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM
BTMP 01 Aug 06 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,bruce 01 Aug 06 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 01 Aug 06 - 05:52 PM
Kaleea 01 Aug 06 - 06:07 PM
Mooh 01 Aug 06 - 07:14 PM
HiHo_Silver 01 Aug 06 - 07:19 PM
SharonA 01 Aug 06 - 09:17 PM
catspaw49 01 Aug 06 - 09:22 PM
Mooh 02 Aug 06 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 02 Aug 06 - 09:36 AM
chucky 03 Aug 06 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,John Boy 08 Aug 06 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,LIAM B 06 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM
Mooh 07 Sep 06 - 11:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Sep 06 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,LIAM B 08 Sep 06 - 09:53 AM
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Subject: Tech: 12 string
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 07:45 AM

Being a melodeon player I'm used to having an instrument that has two reeds producing the same note but tuned slightly differently to each other. In the dim and distant past I used to have an Eko 12 string that I loved to play (badly) until I lent it to a 'friend' who disappeared before giving it back. I always used to tune the strings to the same frequency as I thought that was what you 'had' to do.

Do any of you 12 string players out there tune the strings slightly apart?

If not, why not?

Where the strings are an octave apart does this hinder the effect or help it?

Do players of mandolins, bouzoukis etc tune the strings slightly apart?

Aren't piano strings tuned in this way too?


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 08:38 AM

I play, with limitations both mandolin (and banjo-mandolin) and 12-string guitar. IMHO the most important thing to get all of them sounding right is that the courses should be in unison or exact octaves. It's more important than the exact interval from one course to another, which can be a little off without sounding drastic.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: Mooh
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 08:53 AM

Once the course is fretted the strings may not sound exactly at the same pitch anyway, depending on intonation, deliberate or indeliberate bending, and the difference between the octave string of one course and the fretted note of another (eg, octave G string and first string third fret). Though my own 12 string suffers little of the tuning troubles about which some complain, and I tune the open strings exactly, and then check the octaves between fretted and unfretted strings and tweak as and if necessary, some "chorusing happens anyway. That slight chorusing effect of out of tune strings should be slight (be careful it usually gets worse up the neck or capoed), so I let the inexactitude of the tuner, operator, and intonation look after it for me.

In other words, I deliberately tune as close to pitch as possible and let the guitar do its 12 stringness, which it does beautifully.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 09:01 AM

i've got 4 different 12 string electric [solid and semi-hollow body]
and about 5 mandolins..

so i can vary and experiment with tunings as i like..

imho, tuning is a matter of personal taste and the ability of each individual instrument to stay in tune..

in the first instance i'll try to tune each couse exactly to precise matched pitch..

then leave the instrument to its own devices to see how far apart strings drift over a few days or weeks playing..

listening out for the point when any 'chorus' effect becomes so noticably out of tune..

that its time to bring it back under control again..


I'm sure other musicians would prefer to tune to their own personal preferences
of a starting point of a few cents out either way on each course to start off with a detuned chorus sound


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 09:41 AM

ps.. precise tuning is more important with mandolins when gigging
amplified in a band..

I always tune my mando as clinically precise as possible..
then tune all other band members guitars and bass
with same tuner as my mando..[while they enjoy a pre-gig pint]

i've learnt from bad experience how glaringly exposed
and noticable a slightly out of tune with other instruments
electric mando
can sound to an audience..

even if my mando is the only instrument 'correctly' in tune..
but the other guys
neglected to tune properly to 'concert pitch' before the gig..!!!???

..the higher octave mando will always poke out most from the mix
and get the blame..!!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM

It takes all my effort to keep my 12-strings as close as poss to perfect tuning. Like Mooh, I let their 12-stringiness do its bit for effect.

Temeprature differences play havoc with the different gauge strings anyway. Usually I like to get to a gig and get the 12-string out its case a good 45 mins before the start. 30 mins before the start I tune it. Then, 5 minutes before the start I tune it again.

Then I pray.

Hard.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: BTMP
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 12:30 PM

I don't play 12 string guitar, but on the mandolin, there is the 'Lost John' tuning where the 2 E strings are retuned to D and A, and the G strings are retuned to A and F#. The A and D strings are not retuned. This would be an example where the double strung notes are tuned so that they do vary significantly in the notes.

Is the 12 string guitar ever retuned in a similar way? Just wondering ...    -btmp


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: GUEST,bruce
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 03:26 PM

I play twelve string and tuning is very important.

FIRST - tune the 12 strings with your electronic tuner - I can do it by ear but on stage, in a rush, noisey environment and ACCURACY. Get the whole lot spot on.

SECOND - detune one of each pair slightly2 or 3 cents MAX. The best test is your ear - if it's quiet enough.

THIRD - listen to the resonances created by the slight off tuning of the pairs - think of the resonance of two violins rather than one. Think of synthesizers to get a good sound out of a Moog you always had to detune one oscillator slightly.

FOURTH - if you are getting technical, then talm to a piano tuner about "beating notes." On a piano the sets of treble strings need to be in tune - but the skill of a good tuner is to create just the right amount of detuning to give the sound more life.

Hope this is useful.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 05:52 PM

Hence the "honky-tonk" piano, which was presumably originally simply out of tune, but then deliberately produced by creating an exaggerated beat in the treble strings. Russ Conway's tuner did this for the characteristic sound on his recordings. It's also why the Hohner Wall of Sound makes the noise it does. And yes, you can do it onb a 12 string. Get hold of a recording of Pete Seeger playing "Bells of Rhymney" and you'll hear the effect.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: Kaleea
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 06:07 PM

no.
it sounds horrid.
no.
no.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: Mooh
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 07:14 PM

Guest,bruce...two or three cents? That's too much for my ear, especially if it goes further out of tune on its own and/or the same notes on other strings don't match. To my ear that's not the 12 string charm, that's the 12 string curse.

I guess it's an acquired taste.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 12 string
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 07:19 PM

See this site for 12 string Guitar Tuning. This is standard tuning if this is what you are looking for.
http://www.get-tuned.com/12_string_guitar_tuner.php


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 09:17 PM

What a great thread! That 2-cents-off effect sounds interesting; I'll try it out. And I've GOT to try that Lost John tuning -- on mando and on 12-string. Thanks, folks!


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 09:22 PM

Yeah, it's real interesting.....til ambient changes take the 2 cents to 5....at which point you have an obnoxiously out of tune instrument.   There are proponents of this method for Hammered Dulcimers but again it can get quickly out of hand.

In tune is nice.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 08:42 AM

One of the things that bothers me about groups with multiple guitarists playing the same damn thing is the out of tune effects common to stage sound so bad they can't properly hear themselves and know they're out of tune. Whether it's one guitar or mandolin or several, it's the same noise. Same thing for large sessions.

The ear, and heart when it comes to lusting after a good session, can be a forgiving thing. It can set aside the dissonance in favour of a good time or learning experience. For some ears this is easier than for others. Listening through the din is an acquired taste, and art. Somehow it's heartwarming when it's an elementary school band, but it's fucking irritating when it's adults. Go figure.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for the replies, very interesting so far.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: chucky
Date: 03 Aug 06 - 07:49 AM

Go for a short scale neck and fit high octave strings against the low EAD. Don't try to tune slightly sharp ever, it's horrible.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: GUEST,John Boy
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 05:29 PM

I used to play electric 12-string and I always de-tuned slightly to get the "12-string" sound. And who knows whether the strings will go from 3 to 5 cents or 3 to zero cents over time. You have to have an ear for what you are doing, and make little tweaks on the fly to get the sound you want. If you like it 2.15 cents, and you tuned it by ear not having the slightest idea where it would measure on a tuning meter, you may find that it goes one way or the other and you'll just need to adjust it to what you want. Original tunings aren't cast in concrete, so have fun and do it the way you want!


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: GUEST,LIAM B
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM

I AM LOOKING FOR A LEFT HANDED 12 STRING ACCOUSTIC. ANYBODY KNOW OF ANY? ANY ENQUIRIES GENERALLY END WITH ME HAVING TO ORDER A SPECIAL, BUT I AM NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT BUYING A GUITAR I HAVE NOT SEEN.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: Mooh
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 11:58 AM

Liam B...Try asking a reputable shop to convert a righthanded 12 string which you have chosen for its playability and tone. It will require a new nut, the saddle slot filled and reversed, maybe a pickguard moved or added, and a general set-up.

I never cared much for most factory 12s and ended up having one built. It was a risk but I love the thing. A full and informed correspondence with a luthier is required if you do this though, because every detail is important.

Where are you? Someone here may be able to help you further.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 07:42 PM

yes where are you - if you live anywhere near me in the midlands , I will keep a lookout for you - I get round a lot of music shops.


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Subject: RE: 12 string
From: GUEST,LIAM B
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:53 AM

I HAVE A 12 STRING ARIA (ORIGINALLY RIGHTHANDED) AND A SIMON & PATRICK LEFT HANDED 12 STRING.
I HAVE SEEN A LEFT HANDED 12 STRING TAKAMINE BUT THE ELECTRICS ARE FAULTY - THEY THINK IT MIGHT BE THE PICK-UP BUT HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO SOURCE THE PROBLEM AND THE RESPONSE FROM THE TAKAMINE AGENT SEEMS POOR.
I WAS HOPING FOR SOMETHING IN THE TAKAMINE, MARTIN, TAYLOR RANGE OR SOMETHING SIMILAR.


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