Exploring the Unique Sound of Double Guitars

Exploring the Unique Sound of Double Guitars

Double neck guitars are a unique and versatile instrument that allows guitarists to play two different guitars on a single instrument. With one neck typically tuned for rhythm and the other for lead, double neck guitars offer a wide range of sonic possibilities and are often used in genres such as rock, prog, and metal.

History of Double Neck Guitars

Double neck guitars have been around since the early 20th century, with the first known example being the Gibson EDS-1275, which was introduced in 1958. This guitar featured a 6-string neck and a 12-string neck, allowing players to switch between the two for different sounds and textures.

Construction of Double Neck Guitars

Double neck guitars typically have a solid body construction, similar to standard electric guitars. The two necks are mounted on a single body, with each neck having its own set of pickups, controls, and tuning machines. The two necks can be either the same length or different lengths, depending on the design of the guitar.

Playing Techniques

Playing a double neck guitar requires a different approach than playing a standard guitar, as you're essentially playing two guitars at once. Some common techniques used on double neck guitars include:

  1. Splitting the Necks: Playing different parts on each neck, such as rhythm on one neck and lead on the other, to create a layered sound.

  2. Harmonizing: Playing complementary parts on each neck to create harmonies and textures.

  3. Tapping: Using the tapping technique to play fast, melodic lines on one neck while playing chords or a bass line on the other neck.

Famous Double Neck Guitarists

  1. Jimmy Page: Perhaps the most famous user of the Gibson EDS-1275, Jimmy Page used the guitar to great effect on songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and "The Song Remains the Same."

  2. Alex Lifeson: The guitarist for the band Rush, Alex Lifeson used a custom double neck guitar called the "Gibson EDS-1275" on songs like "Xanadu" and "A Farewell to Kings."

  3. Don Felder: Don Felder of the Eagles used a double neck guitar on the song "Hotel California" to replicate the 12-string guitar sound heard on the recording.

Double neck guitars are a unique and versatile instrument that offers a wide range of sonic possibilities. Whether you're looking to create layered textures, play harmonies, or simply expand your sonic palette, a double neck guitar can be a valuable addition to your collection. By understanding the history, construction, and playing techniques of double neck guitars, you can explore new musical avenues and take your playing to new heights.

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