Best 12 String Guitar. Acoustic & Electric Low Priced Options

This is our review of the Best 12 string guitar on the market.

We’ve rounded up the Best Electric and Acoustic Guitars 12 string guitar for all budgets. 

Although 12 strings are not as popular as the standard 6 string. You should know they’ve played a huge part on some of the most successful songs in the last 60 years.  

A 12 string is a unique instrument that every guitar player wants to own at some point in their life. You’ll be surprised by the low price you can get your hands on one for. 

It’s a completely different avenue to pursue if you’re growing bored of the same old six string. You may want to challenge yourself to something fresh and new. Every guitarist needs to test themselves now and again to grow as a musician. 

They add a completely different sound to your recordings and give new life to those low down open chords.  

The natural chorus effect cannot be reproduced on any type of software or expensive pedal in the same way a 12 string can. The real thing is far more satisfying and authentic. 

Let’s take a look at 12 Guitars we loved. Both Electric and Acoustic Guitars.

The Best 12 String Guitars We Loved

Best 12 String Acoustic Guitars

  1. Epiphone Songmaker DR-212 
  2. Takamine GJ72CE 
  3. Takamine EF381SC 
  4. Taylor Guitars 352ce 
  5. Martin HD12-28 

Best 12 String Electric Guitars

  1. Ibanez Artcore AS7312 
  2. Danelectro ’66
  3. Gretsch G5422G 
  4. Reverend Airwave 
  5. Taylor Guitars T5z 

The Best 12 String Guitar Full Reviews

The Best 12 String Acoustic Guitars

1- Epiphone Songmaker DR-212 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Best Budget Starter Guitar

Epiphone DR 212 mahogany back and sides
  • Budget King
  • Comfortable
  • Scalloped Bracing
  • Great Starter Instrument
  • Mahogany Back and Sides

Firstly, the Epiphone DR 212 Songmaker is super affordable. So if you’re wanting to dip your toe in to see if you’re going to take to a 12 string, this is your guitar.  

Surprisingly, you can play the Songmaker straight out of the box. The setup is spot on luckily. It comes in the classic dreadnought body shape. Which some players prefer to the larger guitars

If you’re a 12 string novice, the last thing you want is a guitar that’s difficult to get to grips with. It’s one of the most comfortable 12 strings to play without question.

Guitars around this price point are generally bad, I’ll be honest. But when you look at the build of the DR 212 you’ll be getting a half decent instrument. 

Select Spruce top and mahogany neck, scalloped bracing make this guitar a worth while contender. That’s not a bad start at all. With a strong mixture of half decent wood types, you’ll be able to gain some pretty good tones straight off the bat. 

A beautiful balanced, cutting edge tone perfect for blues, country, or studio work. 

An amazing price and stunning look to this budget 12 string. The Epiphone DR 212 Songmaker is a great starting point for you at a ‘very’ friendly price.  

Body Shape Dreadnought Shape Square Shoulder Dreadnought Body Material Mahogany Top Select Spruce Mahogany back and sides Mahogany Binding Black and White Neck Material Mahogany Scale Length 25.5″ / 647.7mm Frets Medium Jumbo Nut Material PVC Nut Width 1.75″ / 44.45mm Joint Dovetail; Glued-in Hardware Finish Nickel Tuner Plating Nickel Bridge Pau Ferro Tuning Machines Epiphone DR 212 Deluxe Pickguard Imitation Tortoise with foil “E” Truss Rod Cover “Bell Shaped”; 2-layer (Black/White); with Epiphone DR 212 in white Strap Buttons 2 – bottom and side of heel

2- Takamine GJ72CE-12NAT 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best Budget Acoustic Electric

Epiphone DR 212 mahogany back and sides alternative electronic guitar sound
  • Trustworthy Brand
  • Lasts A Lifetime
  • Jumbo Body For More Resonance
  • Friendly Price Tag
  • TK 40 Pre Amp System

If you haven’t heard or owned a Takamine, they are a huge reliable brand that caters to acoustic players of all skill levels.

Their guitars are always popular and priced correctly. I owned a budget GD10CE when I played in an acoustic band, and it lasted forever. 

They have a lot of variations and models, so let’s get down to the review of the Takamine GJ72CE. 

Unlike the guitar above, the body style is jumbo, so you’ll be getting a larger sound. A solid spruce top construction gives the guitar a wicked resonance. You might want to consider this as a benefit if you’re in a band scenario. 

The GJ72CE has an onboard TK 40D preamp system, so you can play through a PA system or straight into an amp. It’s very capable of playing in a band scenario. 

A professional looking natural finish almost makes you feel you can reach into the guitar. 

Once again, this guitar is set up beautifully and can be played straight out of the box. No need for a guitar tech to set you up. 

You have a built in tuner and simple treble, mid and bass knobs to boot. Built in tuners are a necessity for new guitars as you’ll be tuning more at the beginning, especially 12 string guitars. 

The Takamine GJ73CE is an absolute joy to play. Just like the rest of the Takamine family acoustic guitars, you won’t be taking a risk. They’re a trustworthy brand. Takamines are generally ‘keepers’ in the guitar world. They won’t let you down. 

An incredible price and a safe bet for a player wanting a 12 string for a band on a tight budget. 

String Type: Steel Number of Strings: 12 Body Shape: Jumbo Body Style: Single Cutaway Left-/Right-handed: Right-handed Color: Natural Finish: Gloss Top Wood: Solid Spruce Back and Sides Wood: Flame Maple Body Bracing: Quartersawn X-bracing Binding: White Neck Wood: Maple Neck Shape: Slim Radius: 12″ Fingerboard Material: Laurel Fingerboard Inlay: Abalone Reversed Mountain at 12th Fret Number of Frets: 20 Scale Length: 25.4″ Tuning Machines: Gold Die-cast with Pearl buttons Bridge Material: Laurel Nut/Saddle Material: Synthetic Bone Nut Width: 1.875″ Electronics: TK-40D Preamp with built-in Tuner and 3-band EQ

3- Takamine EF381SC 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Best At Mid Range/Reliable For Live Performance

Best Takamine 12 string acoustic electric guitar with Rosewood fretboard
  • Handbuilt
  • Superb Harmonic Clarity
  • Affordable
  • Reputable Manufacturer
  • Powerful Low End

I had to add another Takamine into my review as they produce so many brilliant acoustics. They serve our requirements perfectly and most acoustic guitar players interested in progressing further on up the ladder.

This time we are jumping up a level in sound quality, in fact, a couple of levels. The Takamine EF381SC is a pro level acoustic electric guitar fitted with the upper class Palathetic™ pickup.

If you are a serious live musician and need a 12 string as a reliable tool. Then this is your starting instrument. If I was gigging several times a month, I certainly wouldn’t be buying any guitar less than the Takamine EF381SC. 

Handbuilt from the famous Keystone series, a group of guitars from the pro series part of the company. 

Top and sides are made from maple and a Spruce top. Spruce is the most popular top material for the best sound. The Rosewood fretboard feels silky under your fingertips. 

The mahogany neck is attached in the extra strong dovetail joint manner. The black gloss finish looks fantastic under the stage lights and gives off an air of professionalism. There’s just something cool about black guitars. 

Superb harmonic clarity and a very comfortable neck to whizz up and down on. The low end is large, this beast really can kick out a tune or two, whether live or in the studio. 

A complete step up in class makes me rate this confidently as the best mid price 12 string acoustic guitar. 

As I said previously, Takamine won’t let you down!

Color: Black Body Type: Dreadnought Finish: Gloss Neck Wood: Mahogany Neck Shape: Standard Top Wood: Solid Spruce Back and Sides Wood: Maple Machine Heads: Standard Rosewood Fretboard No. of Frets: 20 Position Markers: Pearloid Electronics: CT4B preamp Controls: 3-band EQ, volume

4- Taylor Guitars 352ce 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best Pro Standard Choice

taylor electro acoustic. Exceptional acoustic sound generated
  • Comfortable Venetian Cutaway Style,
  • V-Class Bracing For High Quality Resonance
  • Custom Taylor Expression System 2 Electronics
  • Includes Hardshell Case
  • One Of The Biggest Acoustic Guitar Players

Taylor guitars are exceptional. There’s no other word to describe them. Superbly made products from a large trustworthy brand. Whatever you spend on a Taylor, you’re going to get your money’s worth. 

The Taylor 352ce has a stunning all gloss natural finish solid Sitka spruce top, Sapele back, sides, and neck. 

The neck is made from tropical mahogany with an outrageously smooth west African fingerboard. 

As you are going to spend so much time whizzing around the fingerboard, why not do it in complete comfort. The more comfortable you feel, the more you’re going to practice, it’s that simple. 

The guitar is a Grand Concert Body (15” wide 4.5 inches deep with a Venetian cutaway) This sized body is my favorite. It hugs into your lower chest and fits my body better than any other style. This, in the long run, will want to make you play it more and more. Don’t underestimate the powers of comfort. 

The pickups are the Taylor Expression System 2 Electronics.  These features a patent behind the saddle pick up. This TES2 includes repositioning of three pickups in a location that gives the player a more dynamic overall robust acoustic sound.  You won’t get this addition anywhere else in the acoustic market. It’s a Taylor custom benefit which is outstanding if you’re serious about your guitar tone. 

With a built-in equalizer, you’re able to shape and sculpt the tone like you would an amplifier. It’s an individual characteristic you get from Taylor that makes them one of the leaders in this field. 

The Taylor Expression System is definitely worth reading up on, it’s a major benefit if you’re big on what sounds you can achieve and what your guitar is capable of.  

With a smaller body, some may find that more comforting. With a V-class bracing installed you’ll be given the best of a super controlled acoustic voice and smooth brighter tones. Crisp articulation and a standard above the rest.

The real deal! Pro standard 12 string guitar for a lot less than you think. 

Superb all around sound quality, give it a go!

Category Acoustic-Electric Guitar String Type Steel Number of Strings 6 Body Style Grand Concert Cutaway Yes Scale Length 24-7/8″ Number of Frets 18 Top Wood Solid Spruce Top (Solid Sitka Spruce) Body Wood Sapele Neck Wood Tropical Mahogany Fingerboard Wood West African Crelicam Ebony Color Natural Orientation Right-Handed Case/Bag Included Hard Case Series 300 Model 352ce

5- Martin HD12-28 Dreadnought 12-String Acoustic Guitar

Best Premium Choice

martin electro acoustic rich sound quality smooth and robust tone solid sitka spruce top
  • The King Of Acoustic Guitars
  • Plays Like A Dream
  • Vintage-Style Appointments for 2018
  • Stunning Diamond And Square Inlays
  • Chrome Enclosed Gear Tuning Machines
  • Includes Hardshell Case

You’ve had the main course, now for the dessert. 

Martin company acoustic guitars have been the crown jewels for over eight decades. It’s difficult to say otherwise with owners ranging from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, just to name a few.

They’ve remained faithful to their stunning playability tone and versatility. This should give buyers confidence when considering parting with their hard-earned money. You’re assured of a well-built, traditional-sounding style acoustic guitar.

The Martin HD12-28 Dreadnought Acoustic has top notch build quality, as you would expect from a premium guitar builder. 

A Solid Sitka spruce top with aging toner and beautiful east Indian Rosewood back and sides. The classic herringbone top inlay around the guitar’s body is nothing short than stunning to look at. This was definitely my favorite feature to feast my eyes on. Real eye candy for the guitar addict.

If you look closely, the ebony fingerboard has diamond and square inlays. The headstock is finished in East Indian Rosewood and bears the vintage Martin & Co gold lettering. Here is a real treat for the acoustic guitar lover. 

With bold vintage classic Martin tones and high quality craftsmanship, the HD12-28 is an absolute dream for all guitarists. 

One thing I love about Martin, and that’s their ability to remain true to their roots. They stick with their signature tone and performance. 

Worth every penny in my eyes, a real guitar for the 12 string purist. 

Body Size/Shape D-14 Fret (Dreadnought) Body Wood East Indian Rosewood Top Solid Sitka Spruce Martin Scalloped Bracing Non-Scalloped X Bracing with 5/16″ Sitka Spruce Braces Cutaway None Top/Body Finish Gloss Neck Type Dovetail Joint Neck Wood Select Hardwood Neck Shape Performing Artist with Wide High Performance Taper Neck Finish Satin Scale Length 24.9″ Fingerboard Ebony Number Of Frets 20 Nut Width 1-13/16″ Bridge Type Ebony Modern Belly 12 String with Drop-In Saddle Nut & Saddle Bone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle Tuning Machines Chrome Enclosed w/Small Buttons Electronics None Orientation Right-Handed Case/Bag Included Yes Case Type Hardshell Case Series Standard Series Model HD12-28 (2018)

Best Electric 12 String Guitar.

1- Ibanez Artcore AS7312 12-String Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

Best Budget Electric 12 String Guitar

Ibanez Artcore Best 12 string for bright sound
  • Friendly Price
  • Trustworthy Brand
  • Intonation Already Set up
  • Narrow Neck Suits Beginners
  • Powerful And Balanced Tone

Ibanez produces good quality guitars. They’ve been at it a very long time. This oughta tell you something about longevity. 

Nowadays they are one of the leaders in the market for entry-level guitars. They have a huge range of electric and acoustic guitars that support the beginner player right up to pro level acoustic guitars. 

The budget Ibanez Artcore AS7312 is a semi hollow electric guitar. It’ll certainly see you on your way and won’t ruin your bank balance in the process.

It kinda reminds me of the Marty Mcfly guitar in Back To The Future, it kinda looks a lot like the Gibson ES 335 series. I’m not sure if Ibanez created this with the Gibson similarities in mind, but I love it!

One big difference you’ll notice with the Ibanez Artcore is the neck, it’s narrow, unlike any other 12 string electric. 

If you’re like me, I prefer thinner, narrower necks on all my guitars. It’s just a comfort thing that works for me. So, if this is your 1st 12 string, a thinner neck may help you in comparison to a fatter wider fingerboard, as you’ll have further to reach for notes. 

The guitar jangles just like a Rickenbacker when plugged in.  The two humbucking pickups will give you plenty of resonance and power if you need them in a band scenario. Humbuckers are also famous for being suitably able to blast out big fat chunky riffs

Luckily the guitar’s intonation is spot on, so you can get straight down to work as soon as the box is open. 

The one thing I would recommend if you decide to go for a lower priced electric guitar. Buy yourself some top notch strings. I have recommended a pack below. Strings that come with less expensive guitars are awful in my experience. Quality strings make a huge difference to tone and longevity. 

If you’re working on a tight budget, this very popular Ibanez model is well worth its salt.

Number Of Frets 22 Scale Length 24.7″ Nut Width 43mm Neck Shape AS Artcore Fingerboard Radius 305mmR Body Style AS Semi-Hollow Neck Type Set In Check Price On Amazo Neck Wood Nyatoh Fingerboard Bound Walnut Body Wood Linden Wood Top Linden Wood Pickup Configuration H-H Bridge Pickup Classic Elite (Passive/Ceramic) Neck Pickup Classic Elite (Passive/Ceramic) Bridge Type ART-12 Bridge Orientation Right-Handed Series AS Model AS7312

2- Danelectro ’66 12-String Electric Guitar

Best Beginner Electric 12 String

Best balanced tone Danelectro 12 string for rich loud sound and a reliable build

  • Value For Money
  • Old School Lipstick Bridge Pickups
  • Retro 60s Vibe
  • Stunning Colors
  • Pau Ferro Fretboard

The Danelectro ‘66 definitely looks the part in 3 tone sunburst and a sleek cool black and white. I like these guitars a lot, especially considering the friendly price and retro look. 

A Semi hollow bodied lightweight electric guitar would definitely aid a beginner or child due to the comfort factor. It sits nicely in your lap and is very easy to play. 

If you’re a newcomer to the 12 string, it is more of a challenge than playing a 6 string. So having a guitar that fits you like a glove is so important when you’re starting out. 

The bridge pickups are the dual humbucking ‘lipstick’ 60s style. The Vintage Style Larget Housing Single Coil Pickup is installed at the neck. 

The alder wood body features a C-shaper bolt neck and the classy Pau Ferro fingerboard. That’s a pretty amazing setup for a budget guitar I can tell you!

There are many tonal options to be had with the Danelectro ’66. The three way switching system gives you many sweet clean shimmering tones. Simply push or pull the control knob on your guitar’s body to access more sounds. 

The guitar’s body gloss and the binding resemble something from a 60s kitchen.  The limo black-colored guitar looks like something that should’ve been in the Pulp Fiction movie. 

I just love the way Danelectro has reissued that 60s vibe. The old-school body shape and the lipstick pickups give it the vintage look. 

This Danelectro is definitely value for money. Considering the hardware that’s been used. The Pau Ferro fretboard and the reliable Grotoh Headmachine tuners are worth the asking price itself. This deal is worth every penny in my eyes.

If you’re looking for that 60s sound and look, here is your next guitar. 

Category Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar Number of Strings 12 Body Style Double Cutaway Scale Length 24.5″ Number of Frets 22 Body Wood Chambered Alder Neck Wood Maple Fingerboard Wood Pau Ferro Pickup Configuration H-S Orientation Right-Handed Series ’66 Model ’66 12 STRING

3- Gretsch G5422G-12 12-String Electric Guitar

Best Mid Priced 12 String Electric Guitar

  • Stunning Selection Of Colors
  • Trustworthy Historic Guitar Manufacturer
  • Surprisingly Low Priced
  • Gretsch Signature Sound Quality & Clarity
  • Easy To Play

The sensational looking Gretsch G5422G is flawless in design and real eye candy for any guitarist to gaze at. 

A very affordable hollowed bodied 12 string that’s heaped in history and quality craftsmanship.  

Finished in either: traditional black or the mouth watering Walnut Stain. This is an instrument that’ll impress everybody who sets eyes on it. I love the gold hardware. Every guitar should have this style, it’s super attractive. 

Two “Black Top” Filter’tron Humbuckers guarantee you get that classic timeless Gretsch chime. You’ll be guaranteed crystal clear tones, you only get from a Gretsch guitar. The two F-holes give it that classic 50’s Bill Haley look.  

The headstock is smaller than most 12 strings, this is great as it makes the guitar a lot less heavy at the neck end.

Larger than normal F-holes gives the guitar such a big robust sound. The resonance oozes from the body, you can actually feel it resonate against you. 

The guitar comes with a low action, which is very handy if this is your first 12 string. It’s hard enough playing any guitar with a high action, let alone one with 12 strings. 

Every time you look at this you’re going to want to pick it up and play it. The most beautiful-looking instruments in my review by far. 

Before you move on, you have to check the price, you’ll be stunned. 

Get yourself a piece of Guitar Music History!

4- Reverend Airwave 12-String Electric Guitar

Editors Choice/Great All Rounder

electric guitar playing heaven
  • The Most Versatile
  • Independent Intonation For Each String
  • Stunning Collection of Colors
  • Hot P90 pickups
  • Short Scale Length

The relatively unknown Reverend brand are guitars worth knowing about. The 6 string version of this guitar recently won my review on Best Baritone Guitar. I’m a fan of these tasty looking guitars. 

With a superb all round build and quality hardware, the reverend is my go-to choice for the live guitarist. With its hot P90 pickups, they’ll ensure you’re given some extra punch for the live performance. 

We have a 1 3/4 “ wide neck with a ‘Gibson’ scale length. So if you’re already a 6 string electric guitar player, you’ll take to a Reverend like a fish to water. 

The tuners are locking, which is a very good thing on a guitar with 12 strings! 12 string guitars can be renowned for being a pain to tune up, and to stay in tune. With locking tuners you won’t have to worry about that. 

A super benefit lies within the bridge. You have the power to intonate every single string individually. That’s a great feature if you’re having issues with string height or buzzing frets. Standard 12 string guitars only give you the option to intonate one ‘pair’ at a time, ‘not’ every individual string. 

Reverend custom makes their own pickups which are made with their guitars in mind. It’s a stupid thing to mention but it’s better to have a ‘custom’ pick up rather than one thats only giving you 80% of what the guitar is capable of.

The versatile bass contour control is essential for any 12 string electric guitar. With most electric 12 strings you can get a piercing treble overload if you’re not careful. If you’re playing live, this can destroy your listening audience. 

Re-voicing your tone can roll the bass on and off, or add twang to a crunchy tone. The limitations are endless. 

Also in black for the pure rock and roll electric guitar look

A real strong player in the 12 string market, especially good for somebody looking for a bit more quality and depth to their guitar playing. 

The Reverend Airway in my favourite mid price electric guitar

BODY Semi-Hollow Korina, Solid Spruce Top. PICKUPS 9A5 Bridge, 9A5 Neck BRIDGE Independent Intonation for each String NECK Five-Piece Korina/Walnut SCALE24 3/4″ NECK PROFILE Medium Oval FINGERBOARD Pau Ferro – 12″ Radius FRETS 22 – 0.110″W x 0.050″H TRUSS ROD Dual Action – Headstock Access TUNERS Reverend Pin-Lock NUT 1.75″ Width – Boneite CONTROLS Volume, Tone, Bass Contour, 3-way

5- Taylor Guitars T5z-12 Classic 12-String Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Best Premium 12 String Hybrid

  • Jumbo frets 
  • Unique Hybrid Model
  • Premium Gold Hardware
  • Custom Taylor T5 Electronics
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile

The Hybrid Taylor T5z-12 is the only guitar I know that can reproduce both acoustic and rocking electric tones via an amp. 

Now you might be thinking, what of the traditional acoustic/electric guitars above. These are primarily acoustic guitars you can ‘plug’ into an amp or PA, BUT an electric/acoustic will never sound like a mic’d up acoustic when plugged in. It’s the unfortunate truth. 

The Taylor T5z-12 is a hybrid, meaning you’ll get an acoustic tone when plugged in. This is the only instrument I know that has the ability to do this. 

A Sleek small bodied instrument that reminds me of the Telecaster in body size. You’ve got an active soundboard, magnetic acoustic body sensor. There is a concealed Humbucker and one visible at the bridge end. 

This is all controlled by a 5-way switch that sits on the top edge of your guitar, just below your chest. This enables you to discover so many tones which suit your situation. With one flick you can revert from acoustic to electric. Getting the best of both worlds within seconds.

The ebony fretboard is an absolute treat, no other guitar in this electric section has such a quality feel to it. The Solid Koa top and Sapele neck wood make this a dream for any 12 string enthusiasts out there. 

With a Rich and Robust combination, there really is no reason you wouldn’t want to consider a Taylor of this magnitude.

The tones are truly impressive. With a wide range of breathtaking scintillating highs, the T5z-12 can be the most versatile guitar you’ll ever own. Just dial into the custom preamp and find your sound via the 5-way switch and control knobs. 

The Hollowbody gives a resonance no other guitar in this section can compete with. You’ll feel the vibrations flow through the F-holes, which in itself is an experience. 

The six string model won Guitar of The Year in the first year it came out! 

If you’re looking for a real gift, a guitar for life, then this beautifully outstanding hybrid guitar will last you a lifetime. With many tones to discover, both electrically and acoustically. Just a solid instrument in every department.

The Taylor Classic T5z 12 is a cut above the rest.  

Number Of Frets 21 Scale Length 24-7/8″ Nut Width 1-11/16″ Fingerboard Radius 12″ Body Style Single Cutaway Neck Type Bolt On Neck Wood Sapele Fingerboard Ebony Body Wood Sapele Top Tropical Mahogany Bridge Pickup T5 Humbucker Neck Pickup T5 Dynamic Humbucker Bridge Type Ebony Tuning Machines Taylor Nickel Other Features Thin Hollow Body Case/Bag Included Yes Case Type Gig Bag Series T5z Model T5z-12 Classic

5 Differences Between A Standard 6 String & A 12 String Guitar

Having a better understanding of the main differences gives you a better idea of what they’re best used for:

1. Hybrid tuning

The lowest four notes on a 12 string guitar are octave apart, whereas the highest two are in unison. (see below for explanation)

2. Tone 

The 12 String guitar has a far more shimming tone with twice as many strings being played. 12 Strings have a rich acoustic sound ‘chorus’ type chime. Ideal for backing music, as it almost sounds like two instruments being played.

3. Playability 

A 6 String Guitar has a narrower neck compared to the thicker, wider necks of the 12 String. As a result, 12 Strings are harder to play, as you’ve twice as many frets and a wider fretboard to cover. Pressing one string down at a time is easier than pressing two down. So you won’t be whizzing around the fretboard like you do on a 6 string quite so smoothly.


As the headstock of a 12 string needs to look after twice as many strings, it’s larger in size. The neck and body have to be more reinforced to deal with the string tension of 12 strings. Generally, 12 strings are bulkier than your standard 6 string for these reasons.

5. Technique

Speaking through experience, the 12 string is a little tougher to get going on, especially if you’re a beginner. If you’re already an intermediate 6 string player then you should be good to go on a 12 string.

What You Need To Know About 12 String Tuning

The string notes are the same on a 12 stringed guitar as what they are on the standard 6 string (EADGBE).

If you’re looking at your fretboard, the one thing you’ll notice is your first 4 pairs (E, A, D, G) of strings have 1 thin string and 1 thick in pairs. These pair of strings are tuned the same but are an octave apart. The last two strings (B & E) are in unison.

great guitar affordable price

Buyers Guide; Questions Answered

Which Strings do I need?

From my experience the best strings on the market are the:

D’Addario Phosphor Bronze SetAcoustic (For A Robust Sound)

D’Addario XL150 Nickel WoundElectric

If you’re a beginner, it’s best practice to get extra strings in case of sudden breakages.

Q: What Is My Most Important Step In Selecting A New 12 String guitar?

The most important thing for you to do is to audition different guitars thoroughly. By visiting stores that sell a good selection of 12 string models, you can take the time to play with different brands and get a real feel of comfort. 

Q: What Are The Most Important Aspects Of Each Different Model To Consider Before Buying A 12 String Guitar?

Pay careful attention to your perception of each guitar’s overall sound, tone quality, fretting hand comfort, neck width, body thickness and playing ease.

Good luck in your search for your next 12 String Guitar, they really are some of the finest instruments you’ll ever play. No doubt about that.

The Greatest 12 String Songs

  • You Wear It Well-Rod Stewart
  • You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away-The Beatles
  • Hazy Shade Of Winter-Simon & Garfunkel
  • Hotel California-The Eagle
  • More Than A Feeling-Boston
  • California Dreamin-The Mamas & The Papas
  • ’39-Queen
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive-Bon Jovi
  • Closer To The Heart-Rush
  • Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd


A final consideration you might want to make is the cost. Both acoustic and electric guitars range from a few hundred dollars up to nearly ten thousand dollars.

For a first-time guitar player, you can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get started, although you might find second-hand guitars cheaper.

However, there may be one downside to starting with an electric guitar. You have to buy the instrument, the amplifier, and the cables to connect it. 

Fortunately, there are a few companies like Squier, that offer beginner packages that include a super starter pack that includes everything you need. This is usually a pretty good bargain for any new player and can save you a lot of headaches trying to build a complete setup. 

In general, you can find a starter kit for around $200, which is comparable to a low-end acoustic guitar.

On the other hand, if you choose to go with an acoustic, all you really need is the guitar itself. Obviously, you do need to purchase a decent tuner with both acoustic and electric guitars. But you may choose to buy a strap as well, which will help you hold the guitar up even when you are sitting, but it is not required.

About Lee

Lee has been playing guitar for over 25 years. In the 1990's he made a few TV appearances in London and supported a few big bands at festivals. He's recently sung on radio and worked as a full-time guitarist/singer. Lee is the founder of Authority Guitar, a site where he wants readers to enjoy every aspect of learning the guitar.