A 12 string acoustic guitar is a very versatile instrument but it can also be quite difficult to keep in tune. The rapid fluctuation of the strings can make them go out of tune very easily. Whether you are a beginner or a professional guitarist, it is important to keep your instrument in tune so you can enjoy the full potential of your skills and talent.
To properly tune a 12 string guitar, you will need to follow the standard tuning method for a guitar. The only difference is that aside from the low E and A strings, all other strings have an additional octave string. These extra octave strings are tuned an octave higher than their corresponding standard strings. The extra E string is tuned to B while the high E string has an additional octave B string. The A string has an additional D string and so on until the high E string where the additional B string is tuned to F
Learning how to tune a 12 string guitar is as simple as knowing what type of tuning you want to use and how to accomplish it. We will be covering two different tunings used most commonly with the 12 string acoustic guitar. The first is Standard Tuning and the second is Nashville Tuning.
The first thing we need to do to learn how to tune a 12 string guitar is start with Standard Tuning. This kind of tuning will make your 12 string sound like an ordinary acoustic 6 string guitar. It would only be when you begin playing chords that people will realize you’re using a 12 string guitar. Start by tuning the bottom E string down an octave. It’s important that you don’t overtighten or break the strings while doing this, because if you do, then it will take a lot of time to get them back in tune again.
Once you’ve done this for the bottom E, you’ll notice that all of the adjacent strings are off key (A, D & G). To correct this problem, just tune each one of these up a half step each (1/2 step from standard). Now all of your strings should be in tune and ready for playing!
Tuning a 12 string acoustic guitar is not very difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind. When tuning your 12 string guitar, there is no need to tune the octave strings one at a time. This will just waste your time and probably cause more headaches than necessary.
Before you start, it’s important that you make sure the guitar is new or well cared for. An old or tired guitar can cause some problems when tuning, such as strings that break easily and problems with intonation (intonation refers to the ability of your instrument to be out of tune on certain frets). If your guitar isn’t new or has been poorly cared for, it might be best to get it restrung before trying to tune it.
When you start tuning your 12 string acoustic, it’s a good idea to do this with your amp turned off and with the acoustic feedback turned down as far as possible. The reason for this is because you will be using a lot of energy when tuning and if you have feedback turned up too high you will create an echo effect that will distort your sound and make it harder to tell if all the strings are tuned correctly.
If you’re setting up your 12 string acoustic in standard tuning (EADGBE
Most 12 string guitars come with a set of tuning pegs that have a 3 to 1 gear ratio. This means that for every 3 turns of the tuning peg, the string will wind around the shaft once and tighten. The low E and A strings are usually tuned with a 2 to 1 gear ratio. This means that for every 2 turns of the tuning peg, the string will wind around the shaft once and tighten. This guide will walk you through the process of tuning your 12 string guitar in order to achieve its full potential.
You will need: a tuner, flat head screwdriver (optional), lighter (optional), capo (optional) and time.
If you do not have a tuner, use a piano or other instrument that is already in tune as your reference point. Most music stores have free tuners available for public use. Do not rely on your ears alone to tune your guitar as you may be out of tune without realizing it!
This is an article on how to tune a 12-string guitar. I’m going to outline the basic tuning here and then go into some of the other tunings I use and a little bit about why.
First let me say that if you are going to buy a 12-string guitar, it should be one that has been made for 12 strings. You cannot simply take a 6-string acoustic guitar, string it with 12 strings, and expect it to perform like one that is designed for the purpose. It won’t stay in tune and you will probably damage your guitar.
If you do have a 12-string guitar, you will find that there are three pairs of strings at the top and three pairs at the bottom. The bottom three pairs are tuned exactly like a 6-string guitar (E A D G B E). The top three pairs are tuned an octave higher than those bottom three pairs (E A D G B E). If you can tune your 6-string guitar by ear or with an electronic tuner, you can tune your 12-string. If not, I recommend getting an electronic tuner before attempting to tune your 12-string. With the exception of some very expensive models, almost all acoustic guitars will not stay in tune if
Tuning the 6 and 12 string guitar can be confusing for many players. Often the strings are tuned to different notes than a standard 6 string guitar.
For an example of this, if you were to tune your low E string down to a D, that is how a 12 string guitar is tuned, so it would not be uncommon for some people to tune their 12 string to what they consider “standard tuning” which would result in a very confused player.
The G, B, and high E strings on the 12 string are doubled. There are two different gauges of strings; most often they are 2 lighter gauged strings paired with one heavier one. The octave is located at either the 5th or 4th fret depending on who made your instrument.
Another way to look at this is as follows:
E-A-D-G-B-E (12 string) = E-A-D-G-B-E (6 string)
e-a-d-g-b-e (12 string) = e-a-d’
If you’re new to playing a 12 string guitar, or even if you’re not, it can be tricky to get it in tune. 12 string guitars are tuned in pairs of strings (octaves).
Strings 1 and 2, 3and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8 and 9 and 10 are all paired as octaves. String 11 is the same note as string 5, just an octave higher. And string 12 is the same note as string 4, just an octave higher.
The best way to tune your guitar is with a tuner. Use the tuner to get each pair of strings in tune with each other. Then use the tuner to get those pairs of strings in tune with each other. It makes it easier than trying to get all 12 strings in tune at once.
You’ll also need to know how your guitar is tuned. There’s quite a few ways you can do this but I prefer what’s called “Standard Tuning” which is: EADGBE from low to high on your low E (1st) string up to your high E (6th) string like this:
6th = E = 82.4Hz (octave lower than open 1st string