Strings for the 12 String Guitar!
GHS Silk and Steel 10-42 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings Martin Extra Light Gauge SP Phosphor Bronze 12 String Guitar Strings
GHS Silk and Steel
10-42 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set

Martin Xtra Light Gauge 12 String
SP PhosBronze Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set

GHS Silk and Steel 11-48 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings GHS Silk and Bronze 11-49 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings Martin Marquis 80/20 Bronze 12 String Guitar Strings
GHS Silk and Steel
11-48 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set

GHS Silk and Bronze
11-49 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set

Martin Light Gauge 12 String
Marquis 80/20 Bronze Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set

Strings for a 12 string fall generally into what I consider two categories.
1 - Light and jangly
2 - Dark and growly (is growly a word?)

The lighter we go with the gauge the easier it is on the left hand, for most players.
We also lose bass response (obviously) as we do that.

Contrasting, the heavier we go with gauge the higher the string tension and naturally the tougher it is
on the fretting hand. If we can deal with the tension,
we are rewarded with that glorious, thunder-like sound of a 12 string with heavy strings.

The left hand situation, in my opinion, depends a lot
on how we approach playing the 12 string. If we play
it just like a 6 string, I think it's pretty hard to
use big wires. It's just too much tension on the
fretting hand for most.

Leo Kottke, me, others, get away with big wires because
we approach the instrument not as a 6 string
but as a whole different instrument.

So what I typically suggest for any 12 string player -
If you're NOT specifically sure of your approach OR if this is your first time playing a 12 string (or first in a long time)
start with the lightest gauge. Next time you change strings, move up a gauge.

If you continue to move up at every string change (and if you practice/play a lot)
you'll likely reach a point where you think "this one is too heavy".
At that point, go back one gauge to the lighter option.

Here's the options I've got (five different sets).
I refer to the "1st string" as the first pair, the two high E strings.
The "2nd string" is the pair of B strings etc.
Some refer to them as 1st, 2nd, through 12th string etc.
I find it easier to think of the D string as the 4th pair, the A string is the 5th pair etc.


GHS Silk and Steel 10-42 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings
GHS Silk and Steel
10-42 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set


GHS 600
Silk and Steel
Plain and core wires are tinned Swedish steel
 1st  2nd  3rd   4th   5th   6th
.010 .013 .009  .011  .015  .022w
.010 .013 .020w .026w .034w .042w

Martin Extra Light Gauge SP Phosphor Bronze 12 String Guitar Strings
Martin Xtra Light Gauge 12 String
SP PhosBronze Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set



Martin SP4600
Phosphor Bronze
The plain strings, and the core wires of the wound
strings are plated with bronze
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th
.010p .014p .008p .012p .018p .027w
.010p .014p .023w .030w .039w .047w

GHS Silk and Steel 11-48 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings
GHS Silk and Steel
11-48 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set



GHS 610
Silk and Steel
Plain and core wires are tinned Swedish steel
 1st  2nd  3rd   4th   5th   6th
.011 .014 .010  .012  .018  .026w
.011 .014 .022w .028w .038w .048w

GHS Silk and Bronze 11-49 Gauge 12 String Guitar Strings
GHS Silk and Bronze
11-49 Gauge
12 String Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set



GHS 370-12L
Silk and Bronze
Plain and core wires are tinned Swedish steel
 1st  2nd  3rd   4th   5th   6th
.011 .014 .009  .014  .023w .029w
.011 .014 .023w .029w .039w .049w

Martin Marquis 80/20 Bronze 12 String Guitar Strings
Martin Light Gauge 12 String
Marquis 80/20 Bronze Guitar Strings
$14.90 per Set



Martin Marquis M1700
80/20 Brass
Plain and core wires are tinned Swedish steel
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th
.012p .016p .010p .014p .020p .030w
.012p .016p .025w .032w .042w .054w


They are arranged, above, roughly in order of string tension,
heavier as the list goes down, lightest at the top of the list.

Computing string tension on a 12 string is a
challenge for a couple of reasons. A plain string
with higher tension feels different than a wound
string with higher tension. And once you introduce
things like silk wrap or bronze vs brass vs nickel (steel)
the perceived tension is different too.

Suffice to say that for me, the ones at the top of the
list are the lightest "feel". The ones at the bottom
are the heaviest. In terms of the jangle factor, the
Martin SP4600s (2nd on the list) are the most jangly.
If you want to sound like Roger, that's probably the
string to start at. If you want to sound like Leo,
I'd start with the Martin M1700s at the bottom
of the list.



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