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Okay, so my new Taylor GA3-12 will be here in another 3-4 weeks and I want to start learning some songs that particularly lend themselves to playing 12-string at open-mics. 

Not instrumentals ... singer/songwriter type stuff.

What do you folks suggest ??

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I assume you fingerpick?  I do Mr Bojangles, Can't find my way Home, If I were a Carpenter, Burnin' Down The House  to name a few.

I'm pretty much strictly a strummer ... especially on 12-string.  I do a lot of pull-off,/hammer-on embellishments, but still just a strummer when all is said and done.

Well, there's always Midnight Special or any other Leadbelly song.  And the 12 works well with a lot of Dylan songs.

I do Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" on my Guild 12 capoed to the 7th fret.  You will find that not many others at open mics play that one so you will surely be a standout!  Nothing worse than getting to an open mic and the first three people before you play the list of songs you had on your "learnt" list!  I also do the Who song "Behind Blue Eyes" on my 12 string and that's a favorite.  Well, there's two!  Let us know how it all goes after you play! 

Edward ...that is sooo true!  I love doing "Melissa" by Greg Alman, but I sure like to get on stage first with it on a given evening, LOL. 

"Here Comes the Sun" ... great choice! 

Also, never thought of "Behind Blue Eyes" ... thanks!!!

Ah, yeah..  I do Here Comes the Sun too, but not on a 12-string - yet :-)

I've always wanted to do Behind Blues Eyes but always forget about it.  It's going on the list.


I do a fingerstyle version of "Behind Blue Eyes" on my 6-strings - haven't tried it on the 12 I must...

Speaking of the Who, one I've always liked doing and gets real good response is "Squeeze Box".  That's a good strummin' song with embellishments.

The Eagle's "Take it Easy is always a good song for a strummer on a 12 string. Also Dylan's "Blowin in the Wind". You also might try Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" if you sing along; this song, on a 12 string, really highlights the resonant sound and harmonies of a 12 string. 12 strings also sound awesome in alternate tunings. Try using a soft pick to bring some percussion into the songs.

I already do "Peaceful Easy Feeling" ... not a stretch to work up "Take it Easy" as well ... thanks!  And Dylan keeps cropping up in these suggestions.  Must be something to it ... :-)


You should give Stephan Stills "Love The One You're With" a try. It's a great strumming somg, and sounds great straight tuning or altered tuning.  I do it straight in G, and using the 'Bruce Palmer' E-E-E-E-B-E tuning.  Both ways will rock the house.  Since, you'll be using a 12-string using regular tuning and playing in G, using that open G chord shape should sound really great.

Also, the Beatles "I've Just Seen A Face" would sound great on a 12-string, if you don't want to do the intro or solo, it still holds up.

I'd love to hear it done straight acoustic solo ... the dynamic organ break has always been such an integral part of that recorded song for me.  Of course, it took me 25 years to figure out the lyrics, lol ..."There's a rose in a fisted glove" ???  Wut??


But, I regularly do "Runaway" by Del Shannon and encourage the audience to help me whistle the Hammond organ break on that one, so ...


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