The guitar has been a favorite of the music world for years, with a reputation built on generations of instruments. Over those years, more and more varieties have appeared, leading to the 12-string acoustic-electric guitar. Every different variety of guitar has its place, and for the 12-string, that place is to deliver natural chorus effects with paired courses of strings.
Like all acoustic-electric guitars, these 12-string models include built-in pickups and outputs that allow them to be connected to any amp or sound system. This makes them perfect for larger venues, where the extra power boost is needed to fill the space with sound. Electric connectivity is also handy in the studio, where you can plug the guitar directly into your mixing and recording equipment. When they're not plugged in, these acoustic-electric guitars sound just like any acoustic 12-string. This versatility makes them instruments you can play in any setting.
Like any other guitar, you can find acoustic-electric 12-strings in a variety of shapes, from the standard Dreadnought to more curvy classic types. Choose a guitar with a cutaway body if you need easy access to every inch of the fretboard, or a left-handed model to get a more natural feel if you're a southpaw.
In the 12-string acoustic-electric guitar, the wood used in crafting the soundboard plays an important role in shaping the final tone. The right wood for your guitar is a matter of personal preference, but in general terms, you'll want a softer wood for warmer tones and a harder wood if you like a more punchy sound.
Playing a 12-string acoustic-electric guitar is definitely something you can wear as a badge of honor. With all of the different ways a 12-string can be tuned, it's essentially a whole different instrument from other varieties of guitar. Take your time to pick one that has the right combination of shape, electric hardware and woods to suit your preferences and you won't go wrong.