Twelve-string Guitar - Design

Design

The strings are placed in courses of two strings each that are usually played together. The two strings in each bass course are normally tuned an octave apart, while each pair of strings in the treble courses are tuned in unison. The tuning of the second string in the third course (G) varies: some players use a unison string while others prefer the distinctive high-pitched, bell-like quality an octave string makes in this position. Some players, either in search of distinctive tone or for ease of playing, will remove some of the doubled strings. For example, removing the higher octave from the three bass courses simplifies playing running bass lines, but keeps the extra treble strings for the full strums.

The strings are generally arranged such that the first string of each pair to be struck on a downward strum is the higher octave string; however, this arrangement was reversed by Rickenbacker on their electric 360/12.

The tension placed on the instrument by the strings is high, and because of this, 12 string guitars have a reputation for warping after a few years of use. Some twelve-string guitars have non-traditional structural supports to prevent or postpone such a fate, at the expense of appearance and tone. Until the invention of the truss rod in 1921, twelve-string guitars were nearly universally tuned lower than the traditional EADGBe, to reduce the stresses on the instrument. Leadbelly often used a low C-tuning, but in some recordings can be recognisable low B and A-tunings.

Some performers prefer the richness of an open tuning due to its near-orchestral sound. For a very complex plucked-string sound, the 12-string can be set to standard tuning (or possibly an octave lower), then the top one and low two string pairs can be tuned to whole-tone intervals. The usual gamut of guitar tunings are also available.

The twelve-string guitar has traditionally occupied rhythm or accompaniment roles in folk, rock, and popular music. This is largely because it is more difficult to pluck individual strings on the twelve-string guitar and substantially more difficult to bend notes than on a comparable six-string instrument.

Some hard rock (Jimmy Page), progressive rock and heavy metal (Dave Mustaine) musicians use double-necked guitars, which have both six-string and twelve-string components, allowing the guitarist easy transition between different sounds.

The greater number of strings complicates playing, particularly for the plucking (or picking) hand. The gap between the dual-string courses is usually narrower than that between the single-string courses of a conventional six-string guitar, so more precision is required with the pick or fingertip when not simply strumming chords. Note bending and some forms of extended playing techniques are also complicated by the presence of doubled strings.

Twelve-string guitars are made in both acoustic and electric forms. However, it is the acoustic type that is most common.

Read more about this topic:  Twelve-string Guitar

Other articles related to "design, designs":

Very-large-scale Integration - Structured Design
... Structured VLSI design is a modular methodology originated by Carver Mead and Lynn Conway for saving microchip area by minimizing the interconnect fabrics area ... In complex designs this structuring may be achieved by hierarchical nesting ... Structured VLSI design had been popular in the early 1980s, but lost its popularity later because of the advent of placement and routing tools wasting ...
56th Tony Awards - The Ceremony
... of a Play, Direction of a Musical, Book of a Musical, Original Score, Choreography, Costume Design, Lighting Design and Scenic Design ...
Terminology - Process Design
... "Process design" (in contrast to "design process" mentioned above) refers to the planning of routine steps of a process aside from the expected result ... Processes (in general) are treated as a product of design, not the method of design ... have found the term useful to describe the design of business processes as well as manufacturing processes ...
Shea Stadium - Features - Design
... The design also allowed for Shea Stadium to be expandable to 90,000 seats (by completely enclosing the grandstand), or to be later enclosed by a dome if warranted ...
Boeing 747 - Design
... For more design details, see Boeing 747-400, 747-8, and 747SP ... The Boeing 747 is a large, wide-body (two-aisle) airliner with four wing-mounted engines ...

Famous quotes containing the word design:

    If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will.
    Antonin Artaud (1896–1948)

    I begin with a design for a hearse.
    For Christ’s sake not black—
    nor white either—and not polished!
    Let it be weathered—like a farm wagon—
    William Carlos Williams (1883–1963)

    Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)