A 12-string guitar is one of the most demanding instruments. Tuning it is a nightmare at times, but it gets easier with time.
The principle of tuning is the same as that for a 6-string guitar. Its already posted under guitar tuning. The basic difference with the 12-string guitar is that it has 6 pairs of strings as opposed to just six for the standard guitar. These pairs of strings are tuned to the exact same note. The upper string is a light gauge while the lower is heavy. The same principle of standard tuning applies here too.
The strings generally come as a set of twelve, specialized for the 12 string guitar. If you wish, or you are unable to get a set, you may use two standard 6-string sets - one heavy gauge and one light gauge. The pairs will be formed by the strings bearing the same number. E.g. the 6th string of the heavy gauge and the 6th string of the light gauge will make the 6th pair of the 12-string guitar.
Thus, while tuning a 12 string guitar, you are basically tuning the pairs of heavy and light gauge strings as follows:
1st pair : to the note E,
2nd pair : to the note A,
3rd pair : to the note D,
4th pair : to the note G,
5th pair : to the note B,and finally,
6th pair : to the note E.
The guitar is played in the exact same manner as a standard 6-string guitar, it just takes a little more coordination and, each pair of strings must be played together.
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