12 Fret Guitar

12 fret guitar

Most guitars have 14 frets from the body to the nut, but the 12 fret guitar has two less frets. Once a custom luthier project, the 12 fret guitar is now being offered by major companies like Taylor, Martin and Recording King. The shorter neck results in more comfort, due to the closer proximity of the headstock.

12 Reasons to Rock

The acoustic guitar is the most common 12 fret guitar. The biggest advantage is the added warmth of having the shorter neck. For those of us spending most of our time chording and fingerpicking on the first five frets, a 12 fret is a perfect fit. Many chords that once caused pain can now be played with ease. From rock to jazz, the 12 fret works great with open tunings.

The Recording King RJ-122(above) is a 12 fret guitar with a "slope shoulder" dreadnaught body. This style is a nod to the classic Gibson j45. Having a thick body allows the bass to develop and the shorter neck makes for a real warmth, because the strings are also shorter. Guitarists with smaller hands will appreciate the new found comfort of a 12 fret guitar. More complex fingerings can occur with ease and the lower end of acoustic music can really benefit from all tunings, from standard to alternate.

Various 12 Fret Bodies

This 12 fret guitar design all started with the smaller parlour sized guitars. These are the pinnacle of finger picking, but with less low end than the full bodied guitars. If you mostly play to your cat, then the parlour is a perfect fit! The focus is more on a rich tone, but at the expense of volume. Cat's can dig that. A parlour sized 12 fret guitar is however, very lightweight and a great companion for a vacation. The other body would be the cutaway 12 fret guitar. These are more like a full bodied dreadnaught, but with the top corner missing. This gives the guitarist more access to the highest frets. Made famous by Michael Hedges, the cutaway opens up the higher registers of the 12 fret guitar. Harmonics and tapping is a popular activity on these.

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