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The Best Brands of 12 String Guitar


Most people can’t play a 6 string guitar, so a 12 string guitar seems outrageous in comparison. But the truth is, 12 string guitars are no harder to play than 6 or 7 string guitars.

In short, a 12 string guitar is an instrument that has two sets of six strings. That means there are four times as many strings to choose from when you’re tuning it up for the first time. It’s this extra set of strings that gives these guitars their unique sound – which lends itself perfectly to some genres like rock and country. ​Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s go over some things you should know about playing one before buying your first 12-string guitar.

The key to playing a 12-string guitar is knowing how it works and what makes a good one. Once you know that, there’s not much of a difference between this and any other guitar type out there. Below we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing, buying and learning to play your first 12-string guitar for beginners.​

The most important feature when shopping around is whether your new instrument is going to have an active or passive pickup system installed on it (more on these in just a second). If you don’t know much about pickups yet – don’t worry! You can learn more about them here .​ I would recommend choosing one with an active electric system – as these are the most common now. The reason for that is because they’re a lot easier to install than passive types and require less maintenance in general.

Here are the best brand of 12 string guitar out there right now:

6. Hagstrom Viking Deluxe


The Hagstrom Viking Deluxe is a 12 string guitar that has been designed to be as versatile as possible. It comes with some great features, like body binding and side dots on the fingerboard for easy note positioning. The neck radius is also slanted at 15″ which makes it easier to play than other models in this price range do. These Hagstrom guitars are all very well-made and solid so you don’t have to worry about any of them falling apart while you’re making your music on stage or recording an album.

5. Ovation ExoticWood Legend


This is one of the best 12 string guitars out there for beginners, and it’s an acoustic model which means that it can be used in a variety of different settings. It has 20 frets on its rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot markers so you’ll always know where to put your fingers when playing chords or taking solos. The ExoticWood Legend boasts solid construction all around – including a spruce top, mahogany sides and back as well as a rosewood bridge and fingerboard.​

4. Yamaha LL16-12 Dreadnought


The Yamaha LL16-12 is a great acoustic guitar for beginners and intermediate players alike. It comes with everything you need to get started – including an amp, strap, picks and gig bag. The sound on this thing is really something else too because it’s got two sets of pickups installed in the bridge (a feature that’s only found on more expensive guitars). This means you’ll be able to get some amazing sounds out of it right away when playing anything from jazz to rock music.​

It also has die cast tuners which are built into the headstock so they’re going to stay in place over time.

The body is made from nato wood which sounds great and looks even better. It’s also durable enough to stand up under pressure – should you accidentally drop it or something (which happens to all of us at some point). It has an amazing tone with depth that makes for good practice sessions.

3. Rickenbacker 330/12


If you’re looking for a 12 string guitar that’s going to stand out in a crowd, Rickenbacker is the brand to go with. The 330/12 has been around since 1993 and is still one of the best options on the market today. It features an elegant maple body paired with rosewood fingerboard and neck – which gives it a bright sound you won’t find anywhere else. On top of that, this particular model comes equipped with three selectable pickups: two humbuckers and one single-coil pickup at the bridge position – giving it plenty of versatility when it comes time to play. ​It’s not nearly as popular as some other models on our list right now – but if you’re looking for a 12 string electric guitar, you can’t go wrong with the Rickenbacker 330/12. It’s a solid choice that’ll give you plenty of playability without breaking your bank in the process.

2. Danelectro 59 Vintage


This is a 12-string guitar that’s great for beginners, and it’ll work well as an upgrade if you’ve already got a few years under your belt. It’s made with all the same quality materials as Danelectro’s other products – so there are no worries about getting something cheap or low-quality here.​ The tone control lets you change the sound of this guitar to give it more depth than what most entry level guitars can offer.

1 . Fender Villager V3


The Fender Villager V3 is an acoustic-electric 12 string guitar that’s perfect for beginners – or pros. It has a great sound, looks pretty cool and is very easy to play with its 45mm nut width. Because of it’s smaller size, this makes the instrument more ideal for younger children who are just learning how to hold the neck. The solid spruce top brings out a warm tone while mahogany sides and back help add volume to the sound when amplified (thanks in part to its onboard preamp). Features also include rosewood fingerboard and bridge as well as 20 frets. Overall this is a great little guitar that plays really nice (especially for the price). ​It’s also available in a variety of colors, including black, brown sunburst and white.​

The guitars listed above are all great choices for beginners. Whether you’re shopping around for your first ever guitar or just looking to add a 12 string model to your arsenal, any of these would be a good bet. Just make sure that in the end whatever you choose has an active pickup system if at all possible – as this is what most people prefer and will ensure it’s easier to get started playing once the instrument arrives.

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