IF SIX WERE TWELVE

Guitar Techniques - - TALK BACK -

How about an is­sue ded­i­cated to the 12-string gui­tar - both acous­tic and elec­tric? Ross DeAeth Well that’s what I call a short but sweet let­ter, Ross. But it does get sharply to the point! It would be very easy to re­ply that the fin­ger­ing for six and 12-string gui­tars is ex­actly the same, so what would be the point? But any­one who’s played a 12 for any length of time will know that cer­tain shapes and fin­ger­ings take on a com­pletely dif­fer­ent sound when com­pared to a six. Gary Moore showed me what Ge­orge Har­ri­son showed him he’d played on the Hard Day’s Night track. On the lit­tle fade-out Fadd9 arpeg­gio fig­ure on the top strings that goes G-C-A-C, F-C-A-C it sounds like the F that starts the se­cond part of the lick is played 1st fret, first string. But Ge­orge told Gary this note was ac­tu­ally the oc­tave of the fourth string, at the 3rd fret. This is just one of many quirks that I’m sure we could find that re­ally did sep­a­rate the six and 12 tech­niques. And when you think of the play­ers that have made great use of 12s, both elec­tric and acous­tic – Har­ri­son, Roger McGuinn, Leo Kot­tke, Gor­don Gil­trap, Pete Town­shend, Paul Weller, Lead­belly, Tom Petty, Peter Buck, even Hen­drix - there’d be a wealth of stuff to dig up, I’m sure. How­ever, ded­i­cat­ing an en­tire is­sue to 12-strings is un­likely, but we know many read­ers have one pugged away in a closet, so an ar­ti­cle might be a nice rea­son to bring it out and stick a new set of strings on.

Ge­orge Har­ri­son and his fa­mous Rick­en­backer 12

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