Date and info about my 12 string Hohner guitar


#1

Hello!

My grandparent gave me as a gift a Hohner HGK512, serial number 995074.

I would like to know if this model has special needings when it comes to tuning, because I feel like the strings have kind of too much tension on them and I wouldn’t like to crack the bridge or something worse.

Btw, the sound this guitar have is really amazing, I’m completely surprised.

Thanks in advance and greetings from México!


#2

Dear Ragginet,
Thanks for your mail. Great, you inherited such a great instrument from your grandfather. You’re lucky.
From what I’ve researched that model was built end of the 80ies/ beginning of 90ies. The model is around 25 years old and the people that build that model left the compalny a long time before I joined the hohner company. Im sorry I have no idea about tuning characteristics of that model. Anyone else out there who has that model?
Kristin


#3

I’m not sure about how much tension will stress out the bridge without seeing the guitar. However, some of the old blues and folk guitarists from the 1930s and 40s tuned down for this reason. Some cheaper guitars would not stand up to 12 strings being tuned to E. And some musicians like Blind Willie McTell played in open D and open G - but detuned in pitch. Those street musicians would tune instruments by ear and often played alone - or with a piano that was out of tune too! So they still got a great sound, but the tuning was lowered in pitch by one or two tones. Pete Seeger was also a wealth of information on the 12 string guitar. He hung out with Leadbelly and learned a lot from him. If you go to this link, you may find more information in the liner notes, or by listening to this record. There are different methods for tuning the strings in octaves and unison.