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12 (twelve) string guitars : The most difficult of the lot?

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OK, so 12 string guitars are sometimes said to be the hardest one to play. For a person who has ever heard Hotel California (Eagles) or Annie's song (Denver) knows how great that guitar sounds. Well, twelve stings tuned together perfectly hitting every imaginable related note over a series of octaves - that has got to be good. some call this the shimmering quality of the sound. It is one of the sweetest sounds one will ever hear.

So, how hard is it to play one?

From a personal experience, these are the problems:

1. The pairs of strings must be struck together and a newbie has the tendency to slip the pick in between. You'll get the hang on it pretty soon.

2. The amount of pressure you have to apply on the frets is nearly double of that required for a 6 stringer (obviously). So don't try it last while playing - it will wear you out, so play it first if you plan to play multiple guitars one after another.

3. The thing has 12 strings! Its a nightmare to tune. Though the thin accompanying strings are tuned the same as its heavier partner, just try it and you will understand.

4. Many people who have bought it have left it as its very hard to play indeed. For the professional, its not an everyday instrument - it is special. keep it in mind while you buy it.

5. Its sound is a bit more suited to softer genres like folk or country though some rockers have used it.

6. It is not a beginner's instrument. Try not to make this your first guitar - it is an advanced level instrument.

Things in favor of the 12 string guitar:

1. There is nothing that can come close to its timbre - except for, of course, the sitar.

2. Once you've heard the 12 string, the six strings will not sound so good anymore. It is captivating.

3. If you can master it, you will propel you into a whole different league of guitarist.

4. If you can play a 12 string guitar, playing a 6 string will become a child's play.

In conclusion, the 12 string guitar is a master piece of musical engineering but it is not for everyone. If you decide to buy one, do not do like my friend who have left it, but keep practicing it. Its a marvelous thing to learn.

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12 (twelve) string guitars : The most difficult of the lot?

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Tune your guitar before you start playing.^Top^

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