Are 12 String Guitars Hard To Play?

Well, the short answer is not really.

The long answer is that they are harder to play than some other guitars and also have a different feel and sound. So let’s take a look at how hard 12 string guitars really are to play.

Are 12 String Guitars Hard To Play?

Are 12 String Guitars Harder To Play?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the person playing the guitar. Some people find 12 string guitars harder to play because of the additional strings, while others find them easier to play because of the added range.

In general, 12 string guitars are harder to play than 6 string guitars. They require more finger strength due to the additional strings and because the neck is wider, it can be challenging for small hands to stretch across. Furthermore, you need to pay more attention when fretting notes as they can easily be muted by other strings if not played carefully.

Although fingerpicking can be slightly harder on a 12 string guitar, it is still manageable with some practice. You are essentially picking 2 strings at a time as opposed to 1 string on a 6 string guitar. This takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you have the hang of it, playing a 12 string will be a breeze.

Tips For Beginners

Though a 12-string guitar offers a richer and more complex sound, it is not recommended for beginners. The strings are closer together and thus harder to hit, and the instrument is also more prone to breaking. Additionally, beginners will need to spend more time tuning and repairing their guitars.

In addition, remember that it might take more effort on your part to play a 12-string guitar well. For beginners, a 12-string guitar is more challenging than a 6-string guitar because the strings are spaced differently and there are more of them. With time and practice, however, you will be able to play this type of guitar just as easily as any other.

4 Reasons Why A 12 String Is Harder To Play

The neck width and thickness are different on a 12-string guitar.

One of the reasons that 12-string guitars are harder to play is because the neck width and thickness are different than on a standard 6-string guitar. This can make it difficult for beginners to adjust to the new spacing and find the right chords. Additionally, the strings on a 12 string guitar are typically spaced further apart, which can also make it more challenging to play.

Barre chords are difficult to play on a 12-string guitar.

One of the main reasons why some people find 12-string guitars harder to play is because of the barre chords. Barre chords are when you press all the strings down at once with your index finger, and they are difficult to get right on a 12-string guitar. You need to have good hand strength and dexterity to be able to play them smoothly.

Difficulty increases with the number of strings on a guitar

Indeed, the number of strings on a guitar affects how hard it is to play. Generally speaking, the more strings there are, the more difficult it becomes to make chords and play melodies. This is because with more strings comes more tension, which makes it harder to hold down the strings evenly and produce clean notes.

String tension and size also contribute to the difficulty

When it comes to the difficulty of playing a 12-string guitar, there are four main factors that contribute: string tension, number of strings, string size, and distance between strings. The increased string tension makes the instrument harder to hold and control. Additionally, the additional strings create more noise when played, making it difficult to play cleanly. Finally, the distance between each string is narrower than on a 6 or 8-string guitar, making it challenging to place your fingers in the correct position.

One of the main reasons why 12-string guitars are harder to play is that they require a greater mastery of the instrument. In order to play a 12-string guitar well, you need to be able to wield more than just six strings. You also need to have plenty of practice and patience.

Origin And History

The 12-string guitar was first seen around the late 1800s, but its true origin is a bit murky.

The 12-string guitar is believed to have originated in the late 1800s, but its true origins are unknown. It wasn’t until blues musicians like Blind Willie McTell started playing it that people took notice. The 12-string guitar became popularized in the ’60s by folk artists such as Glen Campbell. Leo Kottke kept the instrument alive for a little longer before other musicians picked up the baton and carried it into the future.

The 12-string guitar has been around for centuries, and its popularity has ebbed and flowed over time. However, in modern times a number of talented musicians have taken up the instrument and brought it to new heights. These include Melissa Etheridge, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Tom Petty, and The Edge.

Electric 12-string guitars

An electric 12-string guitar is a type of acoustic guitar that has six extra strings. These strings provide the jangle and resonance that make them popular with folk artists. They are slightly more difficult to play than regular acoustic guitars, but many people find them worth the challenge.

Electric 12-string guitars are becoming more and more popular. They provide the depth and fullness of a classic six-string guitar with the added bonus of having twice the strings. This can add a new level of richness and complexity to your sound. Electric 12-strings can be played in a very similar manner to classic six-string axes, but it may take some time to get used to the extra strings. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make these guitars sing!

Are 12-string Guitars Hard To Tune?:

There is no simple answer to this question because it depends on a variety of factors, such as the make and model of the guitar, the gauge of the strings, and the tuning method. However, in general, 12-string guitars are harder to tune than 6-string guitars.

Twelve-string guitars are not hard to tune, but they do require more pressure from the fingers. Twelve-string guitars are often tuned in fifths (E A D G B E), although there are other tunings that can be used with them. Twelve-string guitars can be harder to tune than six- or seven-string guitars because of the extra strings and the additional tension they put on the strings.

What Are 12-string Guitars Good For?

A 12-string guitar offers a fuller, richer sound than a 6-string guitar. They are often used in folk and country music and can be a great addition to a band setting. 12-string guitars are also great for solo performances.

12-string guitars are popular with folk and country artists for their extra power and resonance. They provide a richer, fuller sound than 6- or 8-string guitars and can be used to great effect in both solo and ensemble performances.

Electric pickups are able to detect more of the unique choruses and vibrations in 12-string guitars, which has helped make them a staple in rock music history. They can be used for a variety of genres, but are often favored by rock musicians because of their full, rich sound.

Difference Between 6-string And 12-string Guitars

A 12-string acoustic guitar is harder to play than a six-string electric guitar.

The main difference between a 12-string acoustic guitar and a 6-string acoustic guitar is the number of strings. The 12-string acoustic guitar has twice as many strings, which means that the stretch of the strings is greater, the neck width and the neck thickness are different, and the closeness of the strings is also different. This can make it difficult for beginners to play because they have to adjust to a new set of chords and strumming patterns.

Additionally, the sound of a 12-string acoustic guitar is different than that of a six-string electric guitar. The former has a richer and fuller sound, while the latter sounds more trebly or bright.

Tonal Difference

There is a tonal difference between 12-string acoustic and electric guitars. When playing a 12-string acoustic, you don’t think about individual strings- you think of 6 pairs of strings and play each pair as if it were a single string on a normal guitar. Additionally, there are 12 different guitar tunings that can be used each having its own specific purpose.

Single String Playing

The neck width on a 12-string electric guitar is much wider than that of a 6 or 7-string electric guitar. This makes it difficult to play single-string tones accurately on the 12-string guitar.

The 12-string acoustic guitar has a different feel and sound than a six-string acoustic guitar. The strings are closer together, so there is less room for error when picking single strings. This can make the instrument difficult to play for beginners, but it is perfect for accompaniment or solo playing. Electric players often use the 12-string acoustic for Flatpicking solos, while some acoustic players adapt fingerstyle techniques to the instrument.

Why use a 12 String Guitar?:

A 12 String Guitar has a richer, more complex sound than a 6 String Guitar. The 12 strings offer a wider range of notes, which can give your music a more lush, full sound. Additionally, the 12 String Guitar is often used in folk and country music, which can add a unique flavor to your recordings.

Playing A 12-string Guitar

Although it is possible to play a 12-string guitar the same way you would play a six-string, many people find it difficult to do so. The extra strings on a 12-string guitar can be tricky to keep in tune, and they can also be challenging to hold down when you’re playing chords.

Playing a 12-string guitar is not the same as playing a 6-string guitar. The extra strings create a unique sound that some players find appealing and build their style around. Additionally, because there are more strings, the tension on each string is greater, which can make it harder to play for beginners.

In order to play a 12-string guitar effectively, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with traditional techniques and styles associated with the instrument. This will help you develop a foundation for playing the guitar in a way that sounds pleasing and makes use of all the strings available to you.


Playing a 12-string guitar can be a bit of a challenge because the strings are paired and close together. This necessitates a different fretting technique than six-stringers use, which can take some getting used to. With practice, however, you’ll be able to play your 12-string like a pro!

In order to accommodate for the extra strings on a 12-string guitar, many players adopt a flatter fretting technique instead of pressing down with the very tip of their finger. This means that they press down lower on the string, closer to the fretboard, which gives them more control over the pitch and timbre of each note.

To play a 12-string guitar with control and precision, you’ll need to use both hands. Strum all of the strings with your right hand while keeping your left hand in position. Don’t let the rest of your fingers or palm slump over the fretboard. This will give you better control and allow you to play with more precision.

Is A 12 String Guitar A Fit For Me?

Indeed, a 12 string guitar is not a fit for everyone. It takes more effort to play than a 6 string guitar and sounds and feels different as well. The basics of playing a 12 string guitar are the same as those of playing a 6 string guitar, but it is still a different beast altogether.

A 12 string guitar has a richer, fuller, and louder sound than a regular six-string guitar because there are twice as many strings. The neck of a twelve-string will be wider than most six-string guitars to fit all the strings within the width of the fretboard. Because you are pressing down two strings on a twelve-string for every one string on a six-string, as you can imagine, more pressure will be required to press the strings against the frets. If you are already a fingerpicking guitarist, a 12 string guitar may be more difficult to play than a six-string.

A twelve-string guitar is a great choice for a musician who wants to add some depth and texture to their music. However, it is important to buy a well-made instrument that fits your hand size and style of play. Additionally, you may want to invest in a good quality 12 string guitar as the build is different than on other guitars and needs to be able to handle the tension on the strings.

Things To Consider

When purchasing a 12-string acoustic guitar, there are various things to consider in order to get the best value for your money. The most important factors are the price, type of guitar, sound quality, and size. You can find good deals on these guitars at second-hand online stores, but be sure to do your research and try out different guitars before making a purchase.

When looking for a used guitar, there are a few things to consider. The most important factor is the type of music you want to play. If you are interested in acoustic music, then look for a guitar with solid wood or laminated top. This will give you a better tone than an instrument made with cheaper materials. You can find good deals on used guitars at online stores, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.

Who Are Great Candidates For A 12-String?

Great candidates for a 12-string guitar are people who want the full sound of a 6-string guitar with the added complexity of doubled strings. 12-string guitars are often used in folk and country music.

Famous 12-String Guitar Players

Famous 12-string guitar players have helped shape the instrument into what it is today. Their innovations and techniques are largely responsible for creating the musical vocabulary for the 12-string guitar in modern music. Players like Roger McGuinn, George Harrison, and Richard Thompson have brought the 12-string guitar to the forefront of popular music.

Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is one of the most renowned 12-string guitar players in the music industry. He was one of the first people to popularize the 12-string electric guitar and his influence is still felt by aspiring guitarists today.

Roger McGuinn is one of the most famous 12-string guitar players and his sound is easily recognizable. He achieved his signature jangle sound through studio compressors. By using a JangleBox compressor, he was able to get the unique compression tones that defined his music.

George Harrison

George Harrison was one of the first guitarists to begin playing the electric 12-string guitar and his style on the instrument was massively influential for generations of musicians after him. Any new 12-string guitarist ought to take a close look at his work and style to develop their own playing on the instrument.

Which Brands Make 12 String Acoustic Guitars?

The most common 12-string guitars are made by the following companies:

  • Cordoba
  • Taylor
  • Ibanez
  • Yamaha


The short answer to this question is no. The longer answer is that 12-string guitars are not hard to play, but they can take some getting used to and it will be a while before you develop the same style and tone as your favorite 12-string guitar players.

12 string guitars are harder to play than 6 string guitars but they are not that hard to play and master. With time, patience, and practice you will be able to master the 12 string guitar.

Are 12 String Guitars Hard To Play?


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