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Basic 12 string question electronic tuners
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TOPIC: Basic 12 string question electronic tuners

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#1731
Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
Ok I play 6 string guitar. But I rely 100% on electronic tuners.
What am I going to run into tuning wise if I buy a 12 string?
Is there a electronic tuner that will work?

I have heard tell of a few online ones. But I usually don't play my guitar at the computer. I know really old school.
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#1746
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
quincy451 wrote:
Ok I play 6 string guitar. But I rely 100% on electronic tuners.
What am I going to run into tuning wise if I buy a 12 string?
Is there a electronic tuner that will work?


Hi I have a 12 and I like you rely on electonic tuners, I use a Korg Chromatic tuner CA-30, they cost slightly more than digital which generally only tune to standard notation. One thing to be careful with is if you tune your 12 to Standard notation and go one octave higher then the G string is very susceptible to breaking, a lot of 12 string guitarists tune down a step, sometimes two or even look at open tuning, also I have heard some guys leave out the octave strings on the Bass courses. If you tune down you can use a capo to get back to standard sounds. Gordon Lightfoot does that I believe, at least I know he uses double Drop D and then capos at 2nd fret.
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#1747
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
I use the same Intelli IMT-500 tuner on 6 as well as 12. The only thing I do a bit differently is I set my A to 442 or 444 and then tune everything harmonically based upon the brighter A. I feel the 12 always sounds a bit cleaner when it is brighter! 0:)

Rev Kate
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#1748
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
Guitarmom wrote:
I use the same Intelli IMT-500 tuner on 6 as well as 12. The only thing I do a bit differently is I set my A to 442 or 444 and then tune everything harmonically based upon the brighter A. I feel the 12 always sounds a bit cleaner when it is brighter! 0:)

Rev Kate


Despite playing for a 'wee' while I never learned until recently how to tune harmonically, I haven't tried yet with the the 12 though
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#1750
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
I always tune the A and then tune the balance harmonically. When you tune harmonically, you can hear the frequency waves buffet against each other until you start to get close. As the string you are tuning approaches the appropriate pitch the waves slow until they are rock solid with each other. By the way, on my 12 string (Martin D12-20 OR D12-28) even after an action job and TLC, I tune one half step flat, and then capo the first fret. In so doing, even a great 12 string immediately has a lower action and becomes much easier to play! Give it a try, I bet you'll be surprised!
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#1760
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
quincy451 wrote:

What am I going to run into tuning wise if I buy a 12 string?
Is there a electronic tuner that will work?


The only sure advice is buy a good chromatic tuner and not a cheaper standard EADGBE guitar tuner. Harmonic tuning works but is a real pain in the rear on a 12 string. It's a good spot check. Very best case the human ear is only accurate to 6%, most people like me are much worse. Stick to a good chromatic tuner. Spend more time playing and less tuning!

Chasplaya has good advice regarding tuning down a step. But it depends completely on the guitar and your personal taste and style. A high quality 12 string from a good company is buit to take the stress the 12 string produces. Cheaper guitars won't. High G string (6th string) in most light gauge string sets is very thin, the thinnest of the 12. It won't take much abuse at standard tunings. Always keep a few spares around.

Tuning down a step will really change the sound of a 12 string. Players back to Leadbelly and up to Leo Kottke and others have made their living on the low, jangly sound of the tuned down 12. I personally don't care for the sound but I don't play like them either. Lots of people tune down a step and then capo up two but 12 strings are notoriously difficult to keep tuned with capos so I avoid this practice.

Good luck and Happy Playin'
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#1765
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
BigBear,

You are absolutely correct! Quality 12 strings are built to take the higher pressures placed upon the neck. I was pointing out that lowering the strings one half step (not a third or more like Leadbelly) and then placing a Capo on the first fret keeps the pitch in tune with other instruments, doesn't have string vibration...and the action is lower and easier to play.

However, we've digressed from the original question regarding tuners! I agree that a good Chromatic Tuner is a necessity. It is especially important if you are in a loud room with other folks trying to tune. Hearing harmonics in those situations is difficult at best, and allowing a tuner to be your ears does work well in those situations.
Best, Rev Kate
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#1777
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
Aren't digressions great?! Have a wonderful Friday!!
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Last Edit: 2009/05/08 11:56 By BigBear.
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#1780
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
BigBear wrote:
Aren't digressions great?! Have a wonderful Friday!!

I tried to digress once, but I kept getting off topic! (ooo sorry!)
gingold

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#1791
Re:Basic 12 string question electronic tuners 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
Guitarmom wrote:
By the way, on my 12 string (Martin D12-20 OR D12-28) even after an action job and TLC, I tune one half step flat, and then capo the first fret. In so doing, even a great 12 string immediately has a lower action and becomes much easier to play! Give it a try, I bet you'll be surprised!

Sounds like a good idea i'll give it a go.
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