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 Post subject: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:00 pm
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Location: Deep in the rockies
Pardon me if this question is really stupid, I'm first and foremost a bass player. I only dabble on guitars with their tiny little strings and ridiculously small necks ;)

I was wondering if anyone has ever tried tuning their 12 string so that instead of the pairs tuned an octave apart or the same in the case of the smallest strings, they were tuned to chordal notes (is that even a word) like 1st and 3rd or 3rd and 5th. So say you were in E tuning, you would tune one of the first set to E and the other to g#.

Is this even possible?


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:07 pm 
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Yes. Over the years I've done several tunings like this for special songs. But then after the novelty wore off, I went back to standard octaves and unisons tunings.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:20 am 
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Cool, thanks iiipopes.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:31 am 
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I think just about every owner of a twelve stringer has done this . . . once.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Location: Georgia
I recorded a song with the wound E and A tuned down a whole step while the harmony strings retained the normal tuning. Does it work for more than one song or specific sound? No. If I want a different tuning, I'll use a capo.

I have yet to try a drop-D tuning with both the wound and harmony strings, though I love the sound of high gain on my 620/12.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:52 pm 
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The most significant alternate tuning I did was for a few gigs twenty years ago when I was in a band that performed the Pink Floyd song, "Welcome to the Machine." The A string pair has a standard unison A and an octave-and-a-half E string (same pitch as the top E string pair) and a standard unison low E string with a two-octave E string (again, same pitch as the top E string pair). This gives that hanging top note in the guitar part on the song. I think I learned that from a Guitar World Gilmore interview over twenty years ago.

In the mid-1950's, there was a guitar company in Springfield, Missouri (near where I live) called the Stratosphere that had their version of a 12-string which had the major- and minor-thirds tuning. I've played it. The sounds you can get out of tuning the thirds are incredible, but they take forever to sort out.

Here is an article that talks about the double-neck version:



Here is the Stratosphere Boogie, with the guitar in the alternate tunings, by Jimmie Bryant on the Stratosphere and Speedy West on pedal steel. They were both regular performers on the Ozark Jubilee television show:



And here is what it looks like:

http://www.vintageguitar.com/online-rea ... here-twin/

Edit: I found a video showing a closeup of how the alternate tuning is navigated:



You can supposedly find the tuning by contacting tksmith.net , but I haven't done that.

It would be really easy to string up a current 12-string to do the same thing, especially a 660-12 with the wider neck for more room to manuever. Since I live between Springfield and Branson, years ago I considered working the song up, as I have played a real Stratosphere that is in the hands of a local dealer/collector, and who knows the tunings. I think it is unison on the E and B strings, thirds on the G and D strings, and fifths on the A and E strings, if memory serves, but it has been a long time and I could be wrong.

As Mr. JH notes - once. Every recording artist I know about that has experimented with 12-string tunings did it on only one song.

In any event, I got it tuned up, and after a few hours, well, never mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:03 am
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Location: West Coast Canada
I turned my G's into unison wound a time or two to make some of my up the neck solos a little less jarring when switching between the B pair and the G's, but it did not sound right when I was chording it, so I always came back to the octave G's.

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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:00 pm
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Great information, thanks guys for replying to my "weird" question.


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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:10 pm
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By the way...



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 Post subject: Re: Weird question for you 12 stringers
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:11 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton Ontario Canada
I often use my 620 12 string in DADGAD tuning. You need to use a capo to change keys (capo on 5 for G, capo on 2 of E, etc) - but several of my songs were written to be played in that tuning. Very good for celtic styles.

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Brian Morton
A Rickenbacker Fan in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
===============================
67 FG 625
74 JG 4000
76 JG 430
77 JG 620
77 JG 320
79 JG 4001
80 FG 620/12
81 BG 480
91 JG 610
02 BG 620

Amps -
78 TR7
83 TR25


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