Chords for 12-string guitar

It's popular to tune the guitar, and especially 12-string guitars, as DGCFAD (all 12 strings with octave difference will look like d-D--g-G--c-C--f-F--A-A--D-D). To tune down one tone, will make the string slooser and easier to play. Since a 12-string guitar has double string pairs, tuning down a whole tone is very common on this guitar type.

Chords (DGCFAD tuning)


  • D chord diagram


  • E chord diagram


  • F#m chord diagram


  • Gmaj7 chord diagram


  • A chord diagram


  • Bm chord diagram


  • Em chord diagram


  • B7 chord diagram

The specialties of 12-string guitars

Guitar with twelve stringsThe strings on a 12-string guitar features a combination of steel strings and wounded strings, which difference thickness. The string pairs are also tuned at different octaves apart from some of the pairs. 12-string guitars produce a somewhat bigger and thicker sound and let hear a chorus-like character. The bracing often deviates some, with somewhat larger bracings.

The instrument is relatively common in folk and rock. Beatles are one of the famous bands that have make use of it. Some specific songs to listen to are “Stairway to Heaven”, “Hotel California” and “Eight Miles High”.

The 12-string guitar has been around since the early 20th century. The geographical origin is unknown, but according to some suggestion it could have been Mexico.

More hand strength is needed for guitar with twelve strings. As already said, that is a reason for some to tune down the guitar one half or whole tone. String breakage is also more common and once again, this can often be avoided by loosen the strings. It’s also recommended to use light string gauge (light string is approximately to medium gauge on a regular guitar).

The neck is wider, but since the strings are arrange in pairs, there is only a slighter difference. If you are used to play on a nylon guitar, you will not have any problems. One aspect of the wider neck is that your regular capo probably not will do it and you have to fix a special made capo.

Strumming is easier than fingerplaying or fingerpicking. When playing arpeggios and similar, you should strive to play two strings (a string pair and not a separate string) at a time. (If you’re using tablature, it will look the same for 12-string).

Plectrum will sound and because of the special conditions, light and medium plectrums are recommended.

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