How Do You Tune Guitar With 12 Strings

How Do You Tune Guitar With 12 Strings

When you decide to tune guitar with 12 strings, it definitely will be more difficult than tuning the regular 6 strings guitar. 12 strings mean more works and tension during the tuning. In fact, some people may have to repeat the tuning several times until they get it right. But don’t worry, we will learn the right way to do it.

Indeed, tuning a 12-string guitar has an advantage. It can produce much fuller sound compared to the 6-string guitar. So, it opens up tone in much wider spectrum. However, it also has downside. It is a lot of more difficult to play especially when you need to play chords because of extra strings and wider neck. And of course, with double number of strings, there are more challenges and works to manage.

Secrets in Tuning 12-string Guitar

How Do You Tune Guitar With 12 Strings
How Do You Tune Guitar With 12 Strings

Instead of numbering the 12-strings guitar from one to twelve, it will be easier to tune guitar by numbering them as regular 6-strings guitar. In other words, the strings are looked at in pairs. So it’s numbered one through six and add the “a” or “b: designation to each string. The “a” designation means the string is closer to floor while the “b” is the opposite, closer to ceiling.

  • 1st string pair EE
  • 2nd string pair BB
  • 3rd string pair GG
  • 4th string pair DD
  • 5th string pair AA
  • 6th string pair EE

Identical to 6 String Guitar Tuning

When you take a look at the pairs above, you notice that they are actually identical to 6-string guitar tuning. The only difference is that each pair of string consists of two strings which are an octave of one another or in unison.

  • 1st string pair – consist of two strings that are identical in thickness or gauge and both of them are tuned to high E
  • 2nd string pair – consist of two strings that are identical in thickness or gauge and both of them are tune to B
  • 3rd string pair – consist of two strings.  Lower octave string has much thicker or heavier gauge compared to the higher octave. And these two strings are tune to G. But make sure they are octaves of one another
  • 4th string pair – consist of two strings.  Lower octave string has thicker or heavier gauge than the higher octave string while being octaves of each other. And, these two strings should be tuned to D.
  • 5th string pair – consist of two strings. Lower octave string has thicker or heavier gauge than the higher octave string while being octaves of each other. And, these two strings should be tuned to A.
  • 6th string pair – consist of two strings. Lower octave string has thicker or heavier gauge than the higher octave string while being octaves of each other. And, these two strings should be tuned to E.

Let make it simple, the first two pairs of 12-string guitar are tuned in unison. And, they are also same gauge strings.

The overall process is a much more complicated but it will add more beautiful dimension of sound.

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