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  #1  
Old 08-15-2007, 12:38 PM
Steve Z Steve Z is offline
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Default 12 string tuning in 3rds to achieve harmony

I was just reading an article on Jimmy Bryant that had a brief description of how he achieved a unique sound from his 12 string guitar on the 1954 recording of "Stratoshpere Boogie" (he played a Stratosphere Twin double neck electric guitar with a 12 and 6 string neck).

The tuning of the 12 string was in thirds - its courses tuned E/G, A/C, D/F, etc., low to high to achieve a "twin guitar" sound. This sound was described as sounding like overdubbed guitars in harmony.

Has anyone ever tried this tuning? Does anyone with a 12 string guitar, acoustic or electric, want to try this tuning and share a brief recording comparing a standard tuning and the tuning in 3rds?

This is rather intriguing... thoughts?
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:47 PM
JohnZ JohnZ is offline
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I've tried it in fifths but not thirds. I figured it was a way you could outdo piano players with their ten voices. Anyway, it sounded pretty cool.......the V chord has to be suspended though.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:39 AM
Steve Z Steve Z is offline
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John,

Thanks for the comment on the tuning.

- - -

Has anyone else ever tried this? Does anyone want to try it and let us folks without 12 strings know how it sounded?

Thanks!
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:50 AM
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I'm with John in that I've fooled around with a 12 tuned in 5ths. Also, you might want to check out "Icefire" on Pat Metheny's "Watercolors" album. It's an electric 12-string solo with the strings pairs tuned in 4ths and probably 5ths. Really beautiful!
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:22 AM
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Hi Steve...
Here's an interesting article/document on Jazz tuning a guitar in thirds for easier solo playing (not a 12 string & not for folk-chord playing).
Tuning in thirds - click

Many have experimented with altered tunings to achieve effects or textures.
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