Tuning a 12 string guitar
How to Tune

Tuning a 12 string guitar

A 12-string guitar is tuned similarly to other 6- or 7-string instruments. It is rarely used, and mostly by professional performers who need to fill the works with rich sound and overtones. Such an instrument has a wide neck, so the musician needs to apply more force to clamp the strings. The tuning of the 12 string guitar takes place in an octave or prime.

The first option is technically difficult, but it is preferred by many musicians: an instrument where the strings are tuned in an octave to each other sounds more vivid.

How to tune a twelve-string guitar

The difference between this instrument and analogues is in an additional pack of strings, which are located along with the usual 6th. After installing one set, you should move on to the next, then configure them together. The main set has the following system:

  1. The first string is mi.
  2. Tue oraya – si.
  3. The third is salt.
  4. The fourth is re.
  5. Fifth – la.
  6. Sixth – mi.
Tuning a 12 string guitar

The first 2 strings of the main and additional sets sound in unison , then the additional strings are tuned an octave higher compared to the main ones.

What will be required

Tuning a 12 string guitar

A tuner is an indispensable tool for tuning a twelve-string instrument. Neither a beginner nor an experienced performer can do without it: it is very easy to get confused and damage the guitar.

You can quickly and easily tune your 12 string guitar with an online tuner . It is impossible to adjust the sound of the instrument by ear: for this you need to have unique abilities.

Step-by-step algorithm of actions

Tuning a twelve-string guitar with an online tuner is done as follows:

  1. Clamp the string.
  2. Achieve its correct sound in accordance with the tuner .
  3. Tune the first 5 strings like you would on a regular acoustic guitar.
  4. Tune additional strings according to the same principle.
  5. Finish tuning the 6th string when the neck is in the desired position.

Possible problems and nuances

There must be order in tuning the instrument, otherwise chaos will detun the guitar.

The 12-string guitar is a difficult instrument to use. Its standard action has a lot of tension, due to which the neck is deformed on a low-quality budget sample . Therefore, in order to preserve the instrument, musicians tune it half a step lower. It doesn’t show up in terms of sound quality. To recreate the standard tuning of a 12-string instrument, it is enough to tune it a semitone lower, and attach a capo at the first fret .

The 6th string is recommended to be tuned in stages, slowly stretching. First, the sound of the string is lowered by a tone lower, then by half a tone, then they lead to the desired result. Due to the high tension, it cannot be adjusted immediately: there is a risk of rupture.

If the instrument has recently been fitted with nylon strings, it is necessary to start tuning from the 6th string, as nylon stretches in a special way.

Answers on questions

1. Do I need to lower the guitar tuning?This is done for a comfortable game, to achieve the effect of aggressive sound.
2. Is a tuner required to tune a 12-string guitar?Yes, without it it is impossible to properly tune the instrument.
3. Why should the 6th string be tuned last?So that it does not break under tension.


A 12-string guitar is a complex instrument because it has a main and an additional row of strings. Before tuning a 12-string guitar, you should purchase a portable tuner or download a program; there is also an online tuner. Without it, it is impossible to properly adjust the sound of the instrument, because due to the large number of strings, you can easily get confused.

How To Tune A 12-String Guitar - Tuning Notes & Tips!

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