How To Tune A 12-String Guitar?

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How to tune a 12-string guitar? Tuning a 12-string guitar can be intimidating at first. However, with the details in this article, you will be able to successfully tweak your 12-string guitar in a variety of tunings. Note that strings come in sets when tuning a 12-string guitar in normal tuning. Set the first pair of strings to standard 6-string tuning (E A D G B E). The lower four coupled strings should then be tuned an octave superior (E A D G). Eventually, tune the elevated two paired chords as usual (B & E).

The standard configuration of a 12-string guitar

Trust me, classic 12-string guitars are tweaked to certain notes (with a slight octave alteration) as normal 6-string guitars. So that’s why, amidst the added challenge of owning double the strings, practicing a 12-string guitar is not that difficult.

To make tweaking your 12 string simpler, imagine it as possessing 6 pairs (referred to as courses) of strings instead of 12 independent strings. Begin to look at how the chords are placed out, it is clear that they are not spaced evenly, however, have a gap among each pair.

Because the sequence still relies on EADGBE, it must be acquainted to anyone who has played a regular 6-string. The low E, A, D, and G chords have a coupled string that is adjusted one octave superior and has a tinier gauge. The B and high E chords are matched with strings of the same angle and octave.

6-string and 12-string guitar difference

If you know the variation between a 6-string and a 12-string guitar, tuning your 12-string guitar in any optimizations will be simple (also read about how to tune a 7 String Guitar). The main distinction between a 6-string and a 12-string guitar is that the remainder has an additional set of strings coupled together. A 12-string guitar has six pairs of strings.

How to tune a 12-string guitar?

Basic tuning is the most popular tuning for a 12-string guitar. This renders your 12-string guitar sound like a regular guitar in Basic Tuning. While tuning a 12-string guitar to normal pitch, keep in mind that every string is composed of a pair. You tweak 6 pairs of strings rather than 12 independent strings. It is a lot more convenient to imagine it in this manner.

The chords E A D G B E are optimized exactly like a regular 6-string guitar. When looking at the reduced sets of strings, it’s really the denser strings that you optimize like a regular 6-string guitar.

We tweak the rest of the strings separately because they are partnered strings. The steeper four strings (labeled E A D G) are optimized an octave higher.

This means that the bottom string, E, is tuned an octave higher than the bulkier E string. While you play those 2 strings together, you would then hear them ring out in unison. While both are in tune, you will hear an octave disparity among the notes.

The increased two sets of strings (B & E) are optimized identically to the coupled strings.

While we write down the optimizations for a 12-string guitar, we do so as follows:

dD eE aA dD gG B & E

Capital letters are optimized to standard 6-string guitar tuning. Small described notes synchronized an octave higher than usual.

Other ways how to tune a 12-string guitar.

Tuning a 12-String Guitar Down a Half-Step

To tune a 12-string guitar a half-step lower, first tune the guitar as usual, then tune each string down a mediant (or half-step). This means that E will become Eb, A will become Ab, etc.

Tuning to Drop D

To begin, tweak your 12-string guitar to basic tuning using the steps outlined above. Then, drop the low-E set of strings all the way to D. Most other chords remain unchanged.

Open tuning of a 12-string guitar

A 12-string guitar can be tuned to any accessible tuning you wish. You can choose any open optimizations as long as you recall to tune the strings in sets and tune the reduced 4 pairs as an octave.

Using chromatic tuner

A chromatic tuner is also used by many guitarists to tune a 12-string guitar in an easy way. This can be used for any note. Guitar tuner apps are also helpful and give answers to the question, “how to tune a 12-string guitar?

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)