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How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

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How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:49 pm

I was visiting a studio today and they had a lovely Ricky 12-string. Always wanted one of those... until I tried it. Were people's hands just 50 percent smaller back in the Sixties or something? It sounded gorgeous, but I just couldn't fit my fingers onto the fretboard.

Sigh...
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:58 pm

:D
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Mixedup » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:00 pm

I don't know about the 12 strings, but I certainly find my 480 6-string very easy to play... no harder than my Les Paul Studio or Squier Strat... and it's not like I have the tiniest fingers in the world. (But then it's not like I can play as well as you so maybe you're asking more of it...) Perhaps it's just something you grow used to?
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Wonks » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:54 pm

12-string necks need to be wider to be easy to play. I had a Yamaha Pacifica-12 string which had a standard-width neck and I couldn't get on with it at all. I gave it to a friend with thinner fingers.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:49 pm

Is it, perhaps, a part of Roland's new 'Boutique' guitar range? ;)
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby The Bunk » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:56 am

I've got a mate who's got one which I've tried and didn't really have an issue with but I suspect it may have had a thinner than standard neck. Sounds luuurrrvely!
The real b*gger is tuning the damn thing.
A 12-string acoustic however...now they really are sods to play.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Frisonic » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:52 pm

The Bunk wrote: Sounds luuurrrvely! … The real b*gger is tuning the damn thing.

That is the issue with the Ricky 12 strings for me. And keeping them in tune long enough to get to the end of a song! Smaller hands here so I never had an issue with the fretboard. I came that close to buying one a couple of year back. The shop lent it to me on approval over a weekend so I had a good chance to see how we got on. In the end I couldn't think of any reason not to buy it except that it was nearly £1,800 (had a bit of provenance and it was a very nice one) and I just couldn't justify the spend on an instrument that does one or two things beautifully but otherwise isn't very versatile. So with a heavy heart I dropped it off back at the guitar emporium Monday morning...
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby BigRedX » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:50 pm

What you want is a Hohner TE Custom XII.

Image

Nice wide neck and low-output lipstick tube pickups that are all able the 12-string shimmer sound. Lush!

There's another version with the same name and model number that is shaped like a telecaster but don't bother with that as it's horrible.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:56 pm

That does look quite nice. A friend had one of the Danelectro 12-strings, which sounded great, but rarely stayed in tune for more than four bars.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:13 pm

There are a few instruments, where it can reasonably be said they the player spends 50% of his time tuning up and the other 50% playing out of tune..... The 12 string guitar is possibly the worst :headbang:
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:39 pm

The mandolin is a repeat offender in that regard too!
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby BigRedX » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:41 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:That does look quite nice. A friend had one of the Danelectro 12-strings, which sounded great, but rarely stayed in tune for more than four bars.

I've never had any problems keeping this in tune, although it's only had studio rather than live use. However it does have a proper 12-string bridge with individual intonation adjustment for every string.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:23 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:The mandolin is a repeat offender in that regard too!

I know, it's my second instrument :headbang: they're loud to just to compound the sin......
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Frisonic » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:12 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
Sam Inglis wrote:The mandolin is a repeat offender in that regard too!

I know, it's my second instrument :headbang: they're loud to just to compound the sin......

Funnily enough at the same time I was looking at the 12 string ricky I was also looking at an electro mandolin, which sound wise I thought did a remarkably similar job. I really liked it actually, although I think this one used regular guitar tunings so wasn't really a mandolin. But in the end I didn't get that either, and so if I'm looking for that ringing sound I still fall back on my capo or reach for my Martin, which is a real ringer in itself.
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Re: How the hell does anyone actually play a Rickenbacker?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:32 pm

I have three mandos, a cheap Samick A4, a modded PacRim F5 ('The Loar') and one of these.....

Image

The four string ones aren't really Mandolins IME, but you can tune them mando/violin style in 5ths or Uke style with similar intervals to the top four on the guitar.

If you tune a mandolin Uke style you lose quite a lot of range, an F Style mandolin (with 24 frets) usually has a range of 3 octaves plus a 6th (G3-E7) or more, with guitar intervals that falls to 3 octaves plus a couple of semitones (say G3 to A6 depending where you started).
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