View Full Version : restringing a 12-string
12-30-2003, 01:36 PM
when restringing a 12-string should it be strung: eE aA dD gG bb ee, or Ee Aa Dd Gg bb bb. lower case being the smaller string. Or does it really matter. Right now it's strung the first way, but it seems to me it would be better the second. Is there a right or wrong way to string it?
12-30-2003, 04:10 PM
I tune mine down two half steps and use a cappo. I tune the first 4 strings to octaves and the A (was B) and D (was E) strings together. I have the thinner octave string nearer my head.
12-30-2003, 06:12 PM
The higher (thinner) strings are usually placed so that the downstroke hits them first. This is the first way you've shown. I think some of the Rickenbacker 12's had it the other way around (like your second example). The slots in the nut will show you which way yours was meant to be strung.
The good Doctor is quite right about the tuning. Tune your 12-string in D (D G C F A D) two steps down from standard E. Put a capo on the second fret to restore the tuning to standard E. The reduced string tension will go a long way toward helping your instrument last longer. And 12-strings don't sound good above the 12th fret anyway, so don't fuss about losing two frets of the neck length. I sold my old Daijon 12-string acoustic this summer. I bought it new in 1977. It still plays as well as it did when I bought it. My Washburn EA20-12B electric acoustic has action comparable to my electric guitars, and it shows no signs of a bowing neck or 'bellying' from having the bridge pull up.
01-01-2004, 04:40 AM
I have it tuned a whole step down so the low e is a d. I just didn't know if it made a difference which string came first. how do you have your's doc? I play most everything a whole of a half step down anyway so that's just right for me. I guess trial and error will tell me hwich way is best for me. the first way is how it was when I bought it. just didn't know if I could change it.
01-01-2004, 07:17 AM
Originally posted by PRSplaya
... the first way is how it was when I bought it. just didn't know if I could change it. Check the nut. The slots will definitely not fit both string arrangements. If the nut is cut for your first example (which is the more common way), then reversing that will place the thick bottom E string in a narrow slot near the end of the nut. I was able to get my Washburn EA20-12B at a good price because some idiot put the strings on in the wrong order and broke the nut. Fair warning.
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