How To Tune A 12 String Guitar?

For those out there using a 12 string guitar and having problems getting it in tune…

I am having problems tuning my 12-string guitar. How do I do it?

Tunning a 12 string guitar

Answer. Even though it may look like a big challenge, ‘standard’ tuning a 12-string guitar is actually quite easy. For the bottom four strings (four thickest) you will tune each pair of strings to the same note but the thinner one will be tuned an octave higher.

An octave is the interval between a note and a note with the same name either higher or lower, example: E4 – E5. The top two strings (two thinnest) have both strings tuned to the same note at the same pitch so they sound exactly the same.

Sounds simple? In theory it is, however when strings are tuned in octaves it is easy to hear slight mistunings. For this reason it is important to tune your strings perfectly when you are tuning a 12-string. Also sometimes you may have a problem keeping some of the strings in tune as the some of the smaller strings are tuned quite tightly. For this reason it can be a good idea to get the best quality strings you can when stringing up a 12-string. Ask your local dealer about strings, hopefully they can help you out.

Hope this helps for now and good luck getting your guitar in tune!

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  1. Michael Bigelow

    I’ve never had a twelve string guitar, but I’ve always wondered how you tune one. Thanks, good information.

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