Guitar - 6 and 12-String Acoustic



6-String Acoustic Guitar
The 6-string acoustic guitar is the most common and popular instrument used by modern folk and country artists in America. Nearly every folk band is anchored with a strong rhythm guitar accompaniment and the guitar has become an essential element. The instrument emerged as the staple instrument of folk music at the turn of the 20th century where it was introduced as a solo instrument by early Delta blues artists who perfected its application in a number of sophisticated finger-picking styles. The instrument became the primary accompaniment to solo voice performers like Jimmie Rodgers and Woodie Guthrie, whose simplistic strum while fingering only a few dominant chords (e.g., G, C and D7), formed the instrumental basis of many early 20th century folk songs. In the 1920s, Maybelle Carter brought the country-style of 6-string guitar to perfection with her creation of the famous "Carter style pick" from which emerged many of today's country music styles. In the 1960s, during the Folk Revival era, the acoustic guitar sound, either solo or in concert with other guitars, was the mainstay of nearly every folk musician and folk song performed. Although there are many ways to tune the guitar, most folk artists use the conventional EADGBE tuning. Today, many folk guitarists use a variety of fingerpicking styles and simple and complex strumming.

12-String Acoustic Guitar
The 12-string acoustic guitar adds a harmonic richness to the solo folk performer and became a very popular instrument of the folk musicians during the Folk revival period. Though tuned similar to the 6-string guitar, each of the 6 strings is paired: the lower three strings (E, A and D) are paired as an octave while the 3 higher strings (G,B, and E) are paired at the same pitch. The 12-string's pairing of strings creates a unique brightness and depth to the solo guitar performer, which gives the instrument it's unique character and fullness of sound. In a band with other guitars and instruments, the 12-string guitar adds harmonic enrichment to the instrumentation.