Has it been your wish to be able to play the best 12 string acoustic guitar someday? Do you wonder if you could ever play a 12-string guitar when all you could play at present is a 6-string guitar? Well, it is absolutely possible for you to learn and play a 12-string acoustic regardless of any type of guitar you are capable of playing now.
After all, a 12-string acoustic is not as complicated as you might think it is. The truth is, although it needs more force and effort to play a 12-string acoustic, you will feel like you are just playing a 6-string acoustic guitar once you get the hang of it. The reason for this is because it is not about the method of guitar playing that matters so much when you are using the best 12 string guitar, but it is the quality of the sound that is being produced when you are playing a certain song on it that really matters.
Uses of a 12-String Acoustic Guitar
When the 12-string guitar was first introduced to America in the early 1900s, it was used by street performers and by vocalists as an accompaniment. The 12-string instrument was first used mainly for folk and blues music, but it is now used for more varied genres such as popular, jazz and even rock music. In today’s society, it is considered as a vital musical instrument in solo performances. It is also present in rock band performances. What’s more, it is regarded as an important accompaniment in recordings because of its great impact on the sound quality of the music.
Even though the 6-string acoustic guitar is much more preferred by many guitarists, the 12-string acoustic instrument does not lose its appeal among other guitarists. The 12-string acoustic is more commonly used compared to its electric counterpart. In fact, it is favored by those musicians who want more out of their guitar playing due to the advantages that it provides. What are the advantages of using the best 12 string acoustic guitar?
- The combination of the low and high octaves sounds very pleasing to the auditory senses.
- It can produce a variety of sounds that are not typical in a 6-string acoustic.
- It can create a much louder volume when played compared to a 6-string guitar.
- It has the ability to provide a more dramatic effect on the music being played because of its jangling sound.
- It is compatible to just about any music genre.
- It works best either as an accompaniment or as a solo instrument.
- Its sound is fuller compared to that of a 6-string instrument.
Main Focus When Playing a 12-String Acoustic Guitar
Do you ever wonder what makes “A Horse with No Name” by America sound so great on the guitar? Are you fascinated by the rich acoustic sound of “Ocean” by John Butler? Well, these songs both have something in common. They are played on the best 12 string acoustic guitar. They actually sound so unique and more appealing due to the effect of the sound that is being produced by the instrument. What is the reason behind the distinct sound that is associated with the 12-string instrument? Obviously, the sound that you hear when you strum the strings of a 12-string guitar is crispier and fuller compared to the sound produced by playing a 6-string guitar. This is due to the fact that the 12-string instrument consists of paired strings (also called courses), which are responsible for creating better sound quality regardless of the type of song that you wish to play on your guitar.
You should know that the notes on a 6-string acoustic guitar are also present in a 12-string acoustic guitar. The only difference is that each string is paired with a second string, hence the term “12-string guitar.” The B string is paired with another B string of the same kind. Also, the E string is paired with another E string of the same kind. That explains why you are actually playing two notes of the same kind each time you press down one note. In addition, the 4 bottom strings (G D A and low E) are also paired with a second string that is found on another octave. As a result, each of the 4 bottom strings consists of a combination of a low octave string and a high octave string. That is why when you strum the strings, they create a greater impact on the overall quality of the music that is being played.
Furthermore, when playing the best 12 string guitar, it is important to note that it is best to avoid using fingerpicks; instead, consider using a thumb pick. For the octave 10th string (octave A string), make sure that you use the wired string alternative so that it does not ring in an annoying way. Try to use medium to heavier gauge strings instead of light gauge strings so that the guitar becomes easy to play and better sound quality can be achieved.
Points to Consider When Selecting the Best 12-String Acoustic Guitar
Although there are many good selections of 12-string acoustic guitars on the market now, that does not mean that all of them will be suitable for you. Your main goal should be to compare several guitars before finally buying the right one for you. When purchasing the best 12 string acoustic guitar for you, you must not limit your choice based on the design that you prefer alone. It is a smart idea to consider several important things as well. Read on to find out more about these things.
First of all, you should evaluate your reasons. Ask yourself why you want to get a guitar. Is it because you need it for your band practice? Perhaps it is a 2nd instrument that you wish to own apart from your other guitar. It might be that you want to get your first guitar so that you can learn to play it only in your spare time.
The price of 12-string guitars varies. There are affordable guitars and expensive ones. You need to check your budget so that you can buy the one that is most affordable for you if money is an issue. However, if you have all the means to buy even the most expensive guitar, then go for it by all means.
Nothing can be more disappointing than buying a guitar that breaks too soon because of its unreliable brand. It is important to select the best brand there is so that you can get the most durable and the highest quality acoustic guitar. Try to ask some guitar experts as they can give you some very useful advice on what brand of guitar to choose. Obviously, the best 12 string guitar brand can cost a fortune, but it is definitely worth it. However, if you want to get a very good quality guitar brand at less than its original price, try to look for online stores that sell second-hand 12-string guitars as these guitars are sold at a discounted price. You can also opt for an average quality brand if that is what you can afford right now, especially when you are just starting to learn to play a 12-string instrument.
It is also wise to base your choice on your expertise or experience. The thing is if you are just starting to learn the basics of guitar playing, you most probably want to keep your budget to a minimum at this time, especially if you are going to own a guitar for the first time. However, when you have learned a lot about guitar playing and have improved over time, you most certainly want to get one of the high-end 12-string guitars.
The body is one of the most important parts of the guitar as it affects the sound when you play as well as the quality of your playing. If you prefer a guitar with a louder and deeper sound, select the best 12 string acoustic guitar that has a rather large soundboard. You should consider its shape and size very carefully. If you have a small body frame, you will definitely find it uncomfortable to play a guitar with a large body. Therefore, make sure to pick out a guitar that is neither too small nor too large for you. Check if it is comfortable to hold not only while you are standing but also while you are sitting as you play it.
The top part of the best 12 string guitar matters a lot since it affects the quality of the tone. That is why the material used for the top part is very important. If you are very particular about the tone and volume of your guitar, you can never go wrong with the solid wood variety. What is even more amazing about the solid wood is that it tends to make the sound vibrate more. On the other hand, the laminate variety can only do so much. You should take note that the solid wood costs more than the laminate though. If you are buying your first guitar, it is all right to start off with the laminate so that you do not get to spend much on it.
The size and thickness of the neck differ from one acoustic guitar to another. It is actually dependent on the body of the instrument. You should know that the sound is not affected by the structure and size of the neck at all. However, you should consider it very carefully since it can affect your guitar playing. The thing is it will give you much discomfort if its size is rather large for your small hands. What is even worse is that you do not get to play well because it feels very awkward to hold. Therefore, check if it feels comfortable on your hands or not at all.
Although there is actually no exact documentation in terms of how the first 12-string guitar originated, there is a theory that it has a Mexican origin due to its resemblance to the Mexican instruments that consist of doubled strings. Another theory is that it might have been developed based on the Italian mandolin instrument that also consists of paired strings. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that its origin cannot be exactly traced, the use of the best 12 string acoustic guitar has evolved throughout the passage of time, that is, from a couple of music genres to many different genres and from being used by a few musicians as a mere accompaniment in the past to being considered by many musicians as an essential part of a solo performance or any music recording today. Therefore, learning how to play a 12-string acoustic guitar is definitely worth your time and effort.