Topic: 12-string or not

Q1: I'm a beginner - 5 months into my musical journey. I own a 6-string but can't help thinking about getting a 12 stringer. I know there's the whole cart before the horse thing - learn to play what I have first but... The IDEA of playing a 12 - and it does seem easier for my fingers to land on TWO strings instead of one - is hard to resist. Thankfully a friend is going to loan me his 12-string to preempt a premature purchase.

Q2: Re 12-strings. Old. v new? Should I succumb to temptation I am trying to decide (currently) between a new Alvarez AJ60SC-12 or a 1970 model Yamaha FG-230. The former is new but the latter has a story: original owner, case, excellent condition, etc. One has electronics, one doesn't. One is mahogany/spruce and one is maple/spruce, one is a jumbo cutaway one is a dreadnaught. I realize sound is the final determinant but I've heard horror storries about used 12-string guitars.

Until then I continue: progress, plateau, near-stall, breakthru, progress and so on. Persistence.

Re: 12-string or not

DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT (ad infinitum)

As far as which to get, get the one that feels better in your hands.  At five months along, you're probably pretty comfortable with a few chords, and probably know which ones are stretches for you.  Play the comfort chords AND the stretch chords on each guitar and see which one fits your hands, the playing style you have, and the sound you like (of course sound can be adjusted some with string changes). 

Did I mention to do it? 

I should listen to my own advice.  There's a 12 string in my local shop calling my name.  I drive by on the way home every day and it calls to me  (Zurf...  Zurf...   Come in here.  You're wife will only be angry a little while...  Come and get me...  Think how "Peace Train" would sound when you play it on me...  Hello, Zurf...)

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: 12-string or not

One of my good friends has a 12-string which he has taken on the odd camping trip [by which I mean the occassional trip, not that there's anything odd about our trips]. I hate it. Maybe cos I kept fluffing all the song I tried to play on it.

But.....

This will niggle at you for a long time. It will only get worse. The voice will get louder. buY ME!

Ach, go for it. If you get the hang of it they sound awsome.

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: 12-string or not

Ummm? i`ll watch this thread closely as i too am drawn to buying another acoustic!
How much more difficult is it to play 12 from 6 strings? am a fairly beginner too........ Hark! is that a 12 stringer yodeling my name? lol big_smile


Micky cool

cool Dont Stop Kid Keep Rockin'  !! cool

Re: 12-string or not

Alvee - I played a friends 11 string (the second high e busted) on a camping trip and it was fun.  I fluffed all the songs I played on it too, for a little while.  What I like about the 12 string is that they sound good with light strumming.  I beat on guitars really hard, and doing some light strumming like you get with a 12 string would be good for me. 

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: 12-string or not

Yeah, Zurf. Funny thing is my wife's father used to have one lying around the house more years ago than I'd like to admit to, and i used to love playing it. Too many fluffed chords and too much whisky have maybe clouded my judgement.

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: 12-string or not

12 strings tend to be "highly strung" and prone to wharping over time. The younger version may therefore have an advantage.

There's a Faith 12 string sitting in our local pawn at a good price, but they have only put 6 strings on it - which is why it has sat there for 6 months!

"Don't play what's there, play what's not there." Miles Davis

Re: 12-string or not

I know a fat-fingered fellow who bought a twelve string with the intention of using it with six strings so that he could have more space than a folk guitar, but not so wide and flat of a neck as a classical.  I guess it worked OK for him.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: 12-string or not

I bought a 12-string a couple of weeks ago (see my thread below re. string spacing which no one has replied to presumably because no one knows the answer, and that because no one plays 12-string on here!) and if anything I find it more difficult to play than my 6-string. Yes, the neck is a little wider, but it's more difficult to hold down the pairs of strings firmly.
The guitar sounds wonderful, especially when strummed with a light plectrum. I find it impossible to finger pick on it.
My advice is to try one and see how it feels.

Re: 12-string or not

I had a '60s Mossrite double neck guitar with a six string neck above and a twelve string below. That sucker weighed 40 pounds but what a sound!
My best buddy bought a Epiphone 12 string acoustic guitar that held a tune better than any guitar I ever saw. He was a tugboat captain and took that 12 string out on the boat in any weather and brought it back to me almost in perfect tune. A deckhand stole it and broke ole Captain Dick's heart. 12 strings are usually a booger to tune but that Epiphone was sweet.
I found a Yamaha 12 string at a yard sale for $200 U.S. I had it set up by my favorite guitar guy and it played fine down low and sounded great. The nut broke at the first string so I strung it up with nylon strings as a six string and gave it to a friend when he retired. His hands had been injured as a boat builder so nylon strings enabled him to play barre chords plus he liked the mellow sound.
toots

We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

Re: 12-string or not

Get a 12 string. You won't regret it. I resisted thinking I really wouldn't play but man oh man I pick it up a lot. Check out Alvarez....very playable and economical

I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

Re: 12-string or not

Thanks for the encouragement, etc. There was never any doubt I would purchase a 12-string it just irresistable but I am holding off ofr now. I continue to watch Craig's list like a hawk...EVERYDAY.

Re: 12-string or not

Hi @all,

I play a 12 string acoustic guitar from Ibanez since 35 years. I never want play other guitars.
It sounds real great. It was my first guitar I bought, it is the same like playing a 6 string.
With fingerpicking I had some problems at the beginning.
I only can say buy one if you can and you will have much fun with it.

st800

Let

Re: 12-string or not

I have been playing the guitar and banjo for 50 years.  I have had a lot of 12 string guitars in that time.  I sell one off, I end up buying another.
My only advise would be,  always have a good 6 string,,,never just have a 12 string.  If you can afford it, always had both.  john

Martin 0-18t  tenor guitar/MyaMoe baritone ukulele
Kamaka HF-4 baritone/Outdoor tenor ukulele
Kay El Bee baritone ukulele
Vega Little wonder tenor banjo

Re: 12-string or not

Zen and the art of the 12 string guitar,now there is a book to be written.
I've had one of these beasts for years, and although I don't use it much and the others in the session groan when I bring it along, I love it.
For finger picking it would be better to have the 11 and 12,9 and 10 strings etc reversed so that you pick the bass string first but I would have to cut a new nut and I'm lazy.
When I bought the 12 about 12 years ago it had already had a life and had been tuned from new a semitone low.The shop guy,a realy gifted player told me to leave it like that and play with a capo on the 1st fret.If I did that he said I would never have neck problems with it and it would hold tune better.
Oh my god!! say the purists,but I have to say that it is over 20yrs old and the neck is perfect.
I realy should use it more,in fact I'm going to get it now and have a play.
Doug.

16 (edited by evsynator 2009-07-26 20:47:09)

Re: 12-string or not

i have played about 20 different 12 strings and only owned one .... some are easier to play than others and dont sound like what you want ... dont buy a 12 string just because it is a 12 string .... really take time to get around it ..... play it for 30 minutes at least before you buy it - not 5 or 10 ... thats the only words of wisdom i can offer .... and thats from someone who has wasted loads of money over the years on rubbish instruments ....

i would also add that it aint always the fancy name on the top that gives the sound you are after .. whether 12 string or 6 string or any instrument ... you have a certain sound in your head and know the feel you want from an instrument .... if it dont feel or sound exactly how you want .... be prepared to walk away and wait till you get what you want ....

any resemblance to my songs sounding anything like the original is highly unlikely.

Re: 12-string or not

I took the plunge. I now own a Yamaha FG-260 slot-head twelve. Built in 1973, solid top, back, and sides. I'm cleaning it up and preparing to restring it.

Thanks for encouragement Zurf, as if I ever really needed it. smile

Re: 12-string or not

Good for you, naoslager.  Good luck.  Hope you enjoy

You can see all my video covers on [url]http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000[/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: 12-string or not

You're going to have a blast with it.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: 12-string or not

I would love to have one and have been close to getting one. The only thing that has held me back is I am lazy and I have a hard enuff time changing strings on 5 guitars on a regular basis and just the thought of twelve is kinda scary. But I love playing a twelve string and after a few minutes it gets comfortable and sounds so sweet.
  I wouldn't use one for everything but, on some songs there is no comparison to a twelver.

Later, Wayne P

Re: 12-string or not

We'll I finally got the 12-stringer tuned. The four "high octave" strings had me perplexed as I didn't want to snap them but alas I they survived. And now i can play...or more likely, play around. My wife has already noticed the extra volume.

22 (edited by naolslager 2009-08-07 17:38:33)

Re: 12-string or not

One more thing. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone. Last year I couldn't even spell guitar (although I desperately wanted to learn to play one) and now I own four including the aforementioned 12-string. Even if I can't really play anything yet I (think) I look cool trying. And I've enjoyed ever hour and minute of it.

Re: 12-string or not

naolslager wrote:

My wife has already noticed the extra volume.

I love how you slipped that line in there.  It made me smile.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: 12-string or not

I tuned up my 12 stringer last week and had a right good jam wit hanother two 6 stringers.
Gives that certain oooomph in a jam session.

Ken

ye get some that are cut out for the job and others just get by from pretending

Re: 12-string or not

Hi,
   I played the 6 string acoustic guitar for 40 years (badly), and have finally given in and bought a 12 stringer wasburn jumbo,and it has breathed new life into my hobby, needless to say I am driving the wife up the wall.   I wish I had done it years ago. (bought a 12 stringer, not drive her up the wall. Better to regret something you have done than something you havn't done.--GO FOR IT.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Kenny.