Ode to a 12 String

This was written and recorded to tell the story of my journey with the EKO Ranger XII 12 string that began in 1970. I think it’s the first time I’ve been able to strum consistently through a song for over 5 minutes and even include a key change (although, not being a vocalist, the guitar does better than my voice!) Lots of the advice given during recent live Zoom sessions in the Vintage and Motivation clubs with @Richard_close2u and @LievenDV have really helped. I hope you enjoy and very much welcome any suggestions on how it might be developed further.


This is a really fun song Chris, well done x 100!!! Don’t diss your vocals here, they suit it perfectly and the guitar sounds great. Bravo to you sir!

The visuals you’ve put together just add to the fun-ness too :slight_smile:

:clap: :clap:

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That was a real fun song Chris!
Very well done I thought. Great words too.

Your song especially hits home for me as my 1st real guitar was a Alverez 5054 12-string.
I played the heck out of that guitar (Still got it and play it once in a while).
This was back in the 70’s too.
A strange thing I did with mine was to play it as a 9 string.
My dad had a cabin in the woods back then. No music stores nearby and for sure no internet. I’d break that darn thin high G string once in a while. Didn’t have a spare. + I’d want to play kinda sorta lead lines throughout a song. So it dawned on me to just take the top three strings off. It sounded just fine that way and I got to play my individual notes on the top three strings.

Very good song ya got there and it brought back memory’s for me.
Thanks for sharing your song with us.


Hey, huge thanks @HappyCat for the comments and sharing your own obvious love of multi-stringed guitars. Guess it doesn’t matter how many they have, as long as you can make great music with them. I’m going to have a blast with this EKO. I don’t think I’ve ever had a guitar that old that holds tune so well. Happy strummin’ & pickin’ :grinning:

Cheers @Notter & thanks for the confidence booster on the vocals :smiley:

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Great story-telling song with well played guitar to keep it moving. To show how many directions songs can take the listener, the spoken part your delivery reminded me of Mike Oldfield’s on Tubular Bells. I was also taken back to the streets of Dundee in 1975 where I bought the guitar - six strings only - that I still play today.

Love the song.


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That was delight, Chris. The guitar sounded great. Loved the way you recorded with the stereo placement. Nothing wrong with your singing, worked perfectly for singing us this story. And the video was just as cool.

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Hi Chris,

that was a most enjoyable listen. :clap: I loved the story of you and you Eko Ranger and the way you told/sung it was delightful and with a good pinch of humor as well. :smiley: Your bond with that guitar shone through every beat of the song.

The video added to that a lot, it suits the story nicely.

The guitar sounds great, love the special flavour of 12-strings. You singing sounded really good as well, no need to be that harsh on yourself.

Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:

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Thanks, @DavidP. Just for reference, the psuedo stereo double trackjng was achived with the left channel being fed by the lrbaggs m1 passive pickup and the right mic’d with a Shure SM57 ( about 12" from the sound hole & angled toward the 12th/14th frets. I was very pleased with the result, as I think each source complemented the other quite well.

As for my singing, I’ve always had hangups about that ever since our music master told several of us we had to mime at the Christmas concert! So thanks for the leg up with that :smiley:

It was really fun to listen to your song Chris. Great work!

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Thanks for the details on how you recorded the guitar, Chris. I completely agreed, the stereo effect achieved sounded really good. The tones were sufficiently different to ensure that the ear did not end up hearing both together in the centre.

As for your music master, he is in good company. Such as the record company man who told Neil Young that his guitar playing was mediocre and his voice far too thin and reedy so he’d never make it as an artist. Pay no heed and keep developing your voice, finding your way to express yourself when singing.

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You’re ticking a lot of storytelling boxes!
Your song takes us on a journey that follows a classic arc and structure that earned its merits and you applied it in a masterful fashion. It sounds like you really did your homework or this isn’t the first story you write!

Well crafted song, perhaps a bit long but since it’s a story I wanted to hear the rest of, I had no issues following it right to the last note! :smiley:

Excellent job and made my day to hear I could help inspire you! <3

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Hi folks and sorry for the delayed replies - a weekend away taking in the Birmingham Guitar Show!

@beejay56 It just came to me to do the spoken part as I was recording it. Sort of felt right. Very honoured to be associated with Mike Oldfield, even in a small way. Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts. Good on you for having a genuine ‘keeper’! :laughing:

@Lisa_S Humour is sometimes what gets me through the day! The world is such a sorry place at times. It’s great that music and lyrics can inject a bit of happiness. Thanks for the kind words about my singing. They encourage me to keep trying to improve and ensure choose / write material that suits my voice. So glad you enjoyed my effort :grinning:

@Willsie01 Thanks for listening, John. Happy to have been able to brighten your day!

@LievenDV Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about my song. Well, I didn’t have a list of boxes to tick when I wrote it - I just did what I felt sounded right. I guess that, listening to all kinds of music over the years, certain structures and so on become familiar without even realising it. The only thing I did try to find out more about was ways of doing a key change so that if didn’t spoil the fluidity of the song whilst injecting some interest at an appropriate point.

As for story writing - being a former headteacher I was well-versed in entertaining the children (and staff) in morning assemblies with my stories - sometimes I don’t know when to shut up :rofl:


Great song and great story Chris. Loved the progression. Your story reminds me of mine, though I never parted with my 12 string. Like you though, my first “real” guitar was a Sigma by Martin 12 string I got for Christmas 1983. It was the only guitar I owned until 2017. It would get relegated to its case for months or years at a time while my guitar journey ebbed an flowed.

Guess where I’m going is I love the sound of a 12 string and I thoroughly enjoyed the sound of yours. Keep it up.

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My first 12 string was an Echo Ranger XXII, it was quite a decent instrument once it was setup properly, sounded nice too!
I liked your song, good job!

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Absolutely magnificent Chris! I was hooked.

I love the sound of a 12 string (though I’ve never even held one!)

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@fritomenawk You clearly made a better decision than me by hanging on to yours :grinning: Many thanks for your appreciation!

@DarrellW Yes, setup is really important with these, Darrell. I thought I’d done a pretty decent job until I let my luthier, very experienced with EKOs, loose on her. One of his recommendations was to do away with the adjustable saddle. After adding some matching wood where it was removed, new routing and a newly cut saddle you can’t tell that it hadn’t always been that way and the intonation is absolutely bang on.

@twistor59 Hi Phil. You really must put holding one on your bucket list! So glad that I was able to hook you. Hold one, play one and you’ll definitely want one :smiley:

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Chris, what a great story and so well done with vox, guitar and video. Your expression in the vocal put a smile on my face. You sure have a connection with that guitar.

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@oldhead49 Thanks so much, Dave. Your appreciation of my efforts means a lot. In fact, everyone’s comments in this community have encouraged me to take the plunge & I’m stepping out for my first ever open mic on Sunday afternoon - subject to some dental work earlier this week settling down. Everything seems to be wearing out these days :rofl: