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Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:23 pm
by Freeman
I think I forgot to put the link in the last post

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.y ... ng-Tension

The twelve string stuff is at the bottom, but there is also some good information about tension for open six string tunings (like resonators!). When I say put mediums on your guitar I mean 12's, remember that nomenclature is different from a sixer. And if you do use 12's, definitely tune it down, 10's are for concert. And like you say, standard tuning on a 12 is fine, but I really like open - either D or G. I grew up listening to Leo Kottke and to my ears, thats the way a 12 string is supposed to sound.

I was playing two of my weirder guitars last night - the Stella clone tuned to open G down four and my Weissie lap slider in open D. My wife was reading, looked over and said "I love all the different sounds of your different guitars". That sort of makes it all worthwhile, eh?

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:10 pm
by michaelm
ricbleu wrote:. . . For that matter, does anyone else play their flattop 12 in altered tuning? . . .

ric, I flip flop between standard and open tunings on my 12-string flattop. For a different variation, I sometimes set it up as a 9-string, with octave strings on the three bass pairs only. I think that somebody else here on the Forum does the opposite with the single strings in the bass. Anyway, sometimes these variations help to get the creative energies going. I don't know if it's all good, but it should be all fun.

It's not a blues, but here's a sample of my twelve in an open tuning:

https://sites.google.com/a/wildblue.net ... edirects=0

Enjoy.

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:23 pm
by Jakeblues
My 12 strings are never in "standard" tuning, they are always down at least two semi tones, then often in something open from there. The one one the right is long scale, it is designed for C or C#, but right now is in whatever the equivalent of open G down four semi tones.


I'm curious what the scale length is? Does that make it a Baritone? As for the open tunings, I haven't gotten that far yet. Considering the time to tune a 12, having several might be an advantage. (I just to have the cash or space (or spousal tolerance.))

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:53 pm
by ricbleu
Thanks for posting that very wistful, melancholic piece, Michael. I loved it. The twelve strings gave it a very orchestral sound and while not in traditional 12 bar blues format, it was steeped in the blues or to put it another way, it had its roots in the blues. Were you playing fingerstyle? and what open tuning were you using? Whatever, it was a superb composition. :mrgreen: :D Peace.

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:40 am
by michaelm
ric, glad you liked it. The melody is based on a US folk song. When we were kids, my mom used to play in on the piano and sing it. I've since heard it in many different contexts, on album, TV, &c.

Here I'm playing it with thumb-pick and two finger-picks. The tuning is (L2H): C G C G C E. I don't usually like the third on top, but I think that this song lays out really nicely in this tuning. The bottom three pairs of strings are octaves and the top three pairs are unison.

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:42 pm
by Freeman
Jakeblues wrote:
My 12 strings are never in "standard" tuning, they are always down at least two semi tones, then often in something open from there. The one one the right is long scale, it is designed for C or C#, but right now is in whatever the equivalent of open G down four semi tones.


I'm curious what the scale length is? Does that make it a Baritone? As for the open tunings, I haven't gotten that far yet. Considering the time to tune a 12, having several might be an advantage. (I just to have the cash or space (or spousal tolerance.))


The scale is 26.5 which puts it right in the middle of "standard" and baritone (which is usually 27 or 27.5). The definition of baritone is a little vague, but I always assume it is tuning at least to B and maybe even A. Ledbelly tuned to A with his 27 inch scale Stella. One thing that is kind of interesting is that the OM in the picture is 14 frets clear and standard scale, the stella-clone is 12 frets clear and long scale. The nut to body distance is almost the same - two more frets on the OM.

My wife says that I spend half my time tuning my 12's and half the time playing out of tune. Open tunings do have some advantages - listen to Leo Kottke or Paul Geremia or Alvan Youngblood Hart, or Michael's lovely piece in open C. I'll add that open C is a kind of funky tuning - the second course is tuned up from standard, while the bottom ones go way down - sometimes you need to fool around with string sets. Kottke uses it for Broken Bicycle and Tennessee Toad, Fahey played a lot in it (but not 12 string).

There are other weird ways to tune a 12 - Ledbelly's 12th string was a double octave from the 11th and his third course was unison (like Michael's).

Someone called the 12 string "the Grand Piano of the Guitar world" - I agree

Re: Another Stab at a 12 String

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:41 pm
by Jakeblues
I haven't delved into a longer scale 6 or 12, but I'm getting curious. It does open up some possiblities, especially, as you point out, with a 12. I just got my first 12 (a '70's Epiphone) and am just getting used to it. My wife also likes the sound of the 12. If I had known the effect they have on women, I would have bought one 40 years ago :D