12 fret acoustic

A 14-fret Martin 000-15M and its 12-fret counterpart, the 000-15.

The 14-fret acoustic guitar may be more popular, but 12-fret acoustics have their own unique tonal characteristics that many guitarists love.

One of the more frequent questions we get at Martin is about the difference between 12-fret and 14-fret acoustic guitars. Besides upper register access, what are the benefits and potential limitations? How does it impact design and tone? How should someone decide which option is right for them? To help answer these questions, I turned to Fred Greene, our vice president of product management at C. F. Martin & Co. Fred oversees the design and development of new products at Martin and has years of knowledge and experience in this area.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.
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