Stringing 12-string: need help

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by P Thought, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It's been years since I've done this, and I can't remember:

    Do the octave strings go on the bottom row, and therefore strike first, or is it the other way around? :confused:

    I put strings on my long-lost 12-string just now, and put the thicker strings on the bottom row, so they would strike first on a downstroke, which seemed to make sense, but the nut slots look like they're made for the strings to go the other way around.

    Could someone show me a picture of a 12-string strung correctly?
     
  2. tape

    tape Tele-Meister

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    every 12-string I've seen has the lighter strings on the top side (i.e. you strike them first on a downstroke).

    you were correct to observe the nut slots. listen to them. :)
     
  3. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Dangit. I thought so. Oh, well, at least the high E and the B (being paired identically) are right, and I hadn't attached the A or the D at the tuners yet. I ought to have 'er strung by nightfall.

    If I were a little bit smarter I'd've taken a picture of the old strings before I took 'em off.

    Thanks, tape.
     
  4. FluffyDog6

    FluffyDog6 Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    Headstock is to left.
     
  5. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the excellent pic, FluffyDog6. I'm resting up before I start in again. :oops:
     
  6. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Light gauge first, except Rickenbacker sets theirs up heavy first.
     
  7. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Thanks to all: strings on! Now a couple-three hours tuning, and I have a 12-string again! I didn't know when I loaned it out, a couple years ago, how much I'd miss this guitar. I can't wait to hear its voice.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  8. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks. I've got a 12 that's been strung up as a 6 since I bought it. This will get me off my arse to do it.
     
  9. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

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    That's a pretty Martin! I'd love to play it.
     
  10. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    Not Rickenbaker.

    Also Gibson used to ship its 12 strings in the 1960s with double G strings instead of a lighter gauge.
     
  11. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    so you would play chords the same. how would you pick single note runs. just pick the bigger string?

    chris.
     
  12. FluffyDog6

    FluffyDog6 Tele-Meister

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    The primary purpose of the 12 string is to create the airy "chorus" effect and full sound that comes from the octave pairs and slight differences in tuning.

    It is really not a lead instrument, more for strumming. You can play single notes, but it is harder; You simply have to consciously "follow through" and hit the second string of each pair. It is also less tolerant of less-than-exact finger placement and you will get lots of buzzing and muted notes, even after extensive practice. Not for beginners, and really, only solid-intermediates (or better) seem to get good results from a 12 string.

    While they were popular in the heyday of the folk music revival in the 1960-1970s, the use of inexpensive electronic effects offers an easier route to (a facsimile of) that sound for many players these days. But someone who can rock a 12 string has achieved God-Tier status in my book, more so than the lightening-fast "shredders" of electric guitar.
     
  13. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    thank you so much. i have my hands full with 6 strings at this point. you rock.
    chris.
     
  14. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Tele-Afflicted

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    Unless you think it would be cheating to use one of these, feel free to look me up if you come up to the Bristol VA/TN area. I string 'em with Slinky Custom 8s so they play about as easy as a 6 with 11s.

    https://db.tt/LTr1bjeO

    https://db.tt/IbZilDx5

    If you can't buy 'em, build 'em.
     
  15. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is possible to pick just one of the strong pair but that happens more by accident than anything else...it would pretty much defeat the point too. Think of the riff in Hazy Shade Of Winter and you get how good a 12 string sounds for single note runs.

    You have to alter your picking and fingering techniques to play a 12. For the left hand, the angle has to be adjusted slightly so that both strings are fretted, or the thinner string won't hit the fret. At the other end, you need to adapt the picking sweep so both strings are struck.
     
  16. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had twelve strings that I play leads with on occasion. I keep my picking hand pinky grounded on the guitar when doing so so muscle memory helps me find a single string more precisely. I have also strung my electric twelves with GBe in unison. I also use my fretting hand pinky to slide up to a tone out of a chord instead of doing a bend to avoid dissonance. On acoustic 12s I use an octave gG configuration though.
     
  17. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You're not the first person to say that. I think that's why they call 'em "lawsuit" Takamines. I don't think there was ever actually a lawsuit, but you can certainly understand Martin's concern. This one's an F-400S, made in 1978.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

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    Takamine or Martin, I'd still love to play it! A friend has a Martin D28-12 and I just love playing it.
     
  19. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you're ever in the neighborhood. . . .;)
     
  20. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Bumpdate (cross between an update and a thread bump):

    I CAN'T KEEP MY HANDS OFF THIS THING!

    I'm working on "Fools for Each Other", by the great Guy Clark (can't sing it through yet without choking: to me a sign of a really good song). I'll play it later with other guitars, I'm sure, but right now I CAN'T KEEP MY HANDS OFF THIS 12-STRING!

    Thanks also for some really good 12-string advice from posters above. I never thought any of this would happen. . . .
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
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