Tuning a 12-String
Tuning a 12-string seems difficult at first glance though it is a relatively
simple operation. If you understand how to tune a 6-string
then you can tune a 12-string. The diagram below represents the 12 strings on your
guitar, and shows the pitches of each individual string.
The directions below that describe one way to tune the guitar.
- First, tune the thicker strings in each pair (strings 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11) to
standard tuning: EADGBe. This is discussed on my tuning page.
- Tune strings 2,4 in unison with their partner:
- String 2 is tuned to e (exactly like string 1).
- String 4 is tuned to B (exactly like string 3).
- Tune strings 6,8,10,11 an octave above their partner:
- String 6 is tuned to g (one octave above string 5).
- String 8 is tuned to d (one octave above string 7).
- String 10 is tuned to a (one octave above string 9).
- String 12 is tuned to e (one octave above string 11).
- Note that when you are done, string 12 should be one octave lower than string 1 or 2.
"e" on string 12 does NOT equal "e" on string 1 or 2.
I hope this helps everyone with a 12-string tune their guitars.
Good luck, have fun, and keep playing!
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© 1998 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 9-7-98.