String instruments are the bane of our existence, spiraling beauty into our lives with the sweet complexities of the tunes. While the abundance of string instruments is quite diverse, we can’t deny that guitars are the alpha in that run, securing the supreme position at the top.
And, what’s better than the standard 6-string guitar notes, you ask? Well, the 12-string guitar notes. If you own an acoustic guitar and want to set yourself up for a challenge, I’d highly recommend looking into different 12-string guitar songs.
Can you imagine that we would have never heard Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven if it weren’t for the 12-string masterpiece? The world would have been devoid of everything good and nice around it.
So, why don’t you give it a try? And, before you say, “Oh, I don’t know which songs to try out?” Well, you can leave that burden to us because we have sorted out the best ones for you. From EDM vocals to sweet country picks, we will walk you through them all.
6-string Vs. 12-string Guitar – What are the Differences?
Before I jump into discussing the best 12-string guitar songs for you to practice and eventually master, knowing the difference will help you understand the instruments a lot better.
As the name suggests, the most common difference between the two is the number of strings they come attached with. Compared to a traditional acoustic guitar, the 12-stringed guitar features double the number of strings.
However, since both of these are stringed instruments, the way you fine-tune them is the same as your normal acoustic guitar. The only difference is that the 12-string guitar consists of both higher and lower octaves of the root notes, while the 6-string guitar features only the low octave.
Even the skill level required in playing the 12-string guitar has quite a high bar. It requires rigorous practice, not to mention that you need to master the tunes and play them simultaneously with 12-strings instead of 6.
As for the design, the 12-string guitar has a larger headstock, body, and neck, which is justifiable because it has to accommodate 12-strings. Keeping that in mind, you should know that they are heavier in weight too.
Top 50 12-string Guitar Songs of All Time
Guitar songs aren’t a thing of “now”. They have been around for decades, entertaining audiences and keeping them hooked from the get-go.
In this list, we have assorted some of the best 12-string guitar songs for you to get started with:
|No.||Song Name||Description||Guitar TAB||Chords|
|1.||Pantera – Suicide Note Part 1||Dimebag Darrell’s somber guitar rifts give this song a cue to the first position in the list.||Click here||Click here|
|2.||Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi||The Intro to this song is a testament to how popular 12-string guitar songs are and how unique the song is.||Click here||Click here|
|3.||John Bulter Trio – Ocean||Made in 1998, this instrumental piece is an addition to the timeless sound that’s going to be prominently etched to everyone’s mind.||Click here||N/A|
|4.||Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd||If you heard it now without the 12-string tunes, the song will never be the same and doesn’t live up to the potential.||Click here||Click here|
|5.||America – A Horse with No Name||The 12-string guitar has a supporting role in the song but it does leave an impressionable impact you can’t walk away from.||N/A||Click here|
|6.||More Than a Feeling – Boston||The simplicity in the chords and picking pattern makes this a good choice for intermediate to advanced players.||Click here||Click here|
|7.||Bob Dylan – Hurricane||If you thought the magic of the 12-string in this song was Bob Dylan, it wasn’t. It was their guitarist Vinnie Bell.||N/A||Click here|
|8.||Ticket to Ride – The Beatles||From the drumming technique to the 12-string acoustic elements, this song is nothing short of a masterpiece.||Click here||Click here|
|9.||Gordon Lightfoot – Early Morning Rain||The 12-string acoustic guitar rift was a prime shift from the rock era at that point.||N/A||Click here|
|10.||Tom Petty – Free Fallin’||If you want to try out a song with pure strumming chords on a 12-string guitar, this is it.||Click here||Click here|
List of the best 12-string Guitar Songs for Beginners (Acoustic)
The above 10 songs are a breakthrough and are often suggested to individuals with a good grasp of playing 12-string guitar songs. If you are just starting out, I have a list of songs that are ideal for beginner to intermediate individuals.
|No.||Song Name||Guitar TAB||Chords|
|1.||Best of My Love||N/A||Chord|
|3.||Did You Sleep Last Night?||N/A||Chord|
|5.||Close My Eyes Forever||TAB||Chord|
|6.||Mama, I’m Coming Home||TAB||Chord|
|7.||Closer to the Heart||TAB||Chord|
|9.||Do You Believe in Magic?||TAB||Chord|
|10.||Nothing Else Matters||TAB||Chord|
List of the Accessory 12-string Guitar Songs (Electric Base)
With the list of acoustic and beginner-friendly 12-string guitar songs out of the way, let me walk you through the remaining choices that are my personal favorites. Some of them are completely played on 12-string guitar, while a few others have a rift and few notes that give them their iconic ring.
- Early Mornin’ Rain
- Hard Luck Woman
- Hole Hearted
- Hotel California
- Ticket to Ride
- I Stay Away
- Give A Little Bit
- Life By The Drop
- Like The Way I Do
- Love Song
- The Magic Bus
- Magic Power
- Grey Street
- A Hard Day’s Night
- Leaving On A Jet Plane
- More Than A Feeling
- The One I Love
- Sister Golden Hair
- Solsbury Hill
- Space Oddity
- Still The Same
- Suite Madame Blue
- Over The Hills and Far Away
- Midnight Special
- Mr. Tambourine Man
- We Just Disagree
- Wish You Were Here
- The World I Know
Can I play 6-String Guitar Songs on 12-String Guitar Songs?
Well, there’s nothing that one can’t do.
However, you need to realize that working with extra strings means a different sound. So, a song meant for 6-strings will have a different tune when you play it on a 12-string guitar.
The benefit of 12-string songs is that you get to play notes at both octave ends at the same time. So, yes, you can play your 6-string guitar songs on the 12-string guitar and versa.
Playing a 12-string guitar is no joke and requires practice. However, if rockstars like Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin thought it wasn’t too hard, we wouldn’t have the masterpieces today. So, why can’t you?
We hope this guide gives you insight on where to start in finding 12 string guitar songs with the tabs and chords I have sorted out for you. If possible, strengthen your foundation first and learn the basics before you get into strumming the guitar strings vehemently.