Why do double neck guitars exist? Do they have some features that regular guitars don’t have? What’s the purpose?
Double neck guitars are used for convenience during performances. With a double neck guitar, a guitarist doesn’t have to switch guitars during the song (if the song requires different guitars).
Usually, double neck guitars have a 12 string neck, and a 6 string neck. I suppose you know the difference in the sound between 12 string guitar and a regular, 6 string guitar.
Anyway, if the song that will be performed requires both of those guitars, sometimes it is more convenient to use a one, double neck guitar. Otherwise, two guitars have to be used.
The most famous example is one of Jimmy Page playing Stairway to Heaven on a double neck guitar.
Who Invented Double Neck Guitar?
Double neck string instruments have been around for more than a 300 years. Those type of string instruments were used by a professional musicians back in the day.
There’s no information about who exactly invented this kind of instrument. I suppose it was always around, hand made by someone, all over the world.
In the 20th century, probably the most famous example of a double neck, electric guitar is a guitar made by Gibson.
How Do You Play a Double Neck Guitar?
You play a double neck guitar the same as every other guitar. One neck at a time, of course. Here, take a look at the video showing a guy playing a Stairway to Heaven with a Gibson, double necked electric guitar.
- performance convenience
As it’s been said, the main advantage of a double neck guitar is to provide two guitar sounds in one. Mostly it’s convenient for songs that use both 12 string and 6 string guitars.
If a band has no more than one guitarist, and the song is using both guitars, it is convenient to play double necked guitar. It would be very complicated for a guitarist to change the guitar in the middle of the song.
- different tunings
You can set a double neck guitar to have two different tunings. For example, one neck can have a standard (low E, A, D, G, B and high E) tuning. Other neck can have some alternative tuning, like open G or something else.
That means you don’t need to use more guitars. It’s all in one, double necked guitar.
Double necked guitars are very expensive. For example, a regular price of one Gibson double neck guitar is around 5000 to 6000 dollars. That’s way too expensive for what you get.
Double necked guitars take much more space than a regular, one neck guitars. If you want to own one double neck guitar, you have to make sure you secure the space for that guitar.
Therefore, it is not convenient to have a double neck guitar in a small rooms, or small apartments.
Double necked guitars are big, and they weigh more than regular, electric guitars. It is much harder to play a double necked guitar while standing up, as it weighs a much more.
Here, take a look at the article from this site about this issue.
Heavy guitars can cause pain in the back. If you’re a guy with a back problems, I wouldn’t recommend you to use this type of guitar.
I don’t know about you, but for me, double neck guitars are just ugly. To me, they look like some kind of an abomination of a regular guitar.
Looks is important, and double neck guitars are failing on this test.
Final Words – Is It Worth It?
In my opinion, NO! I just don’t see a minor convenience double neck guitars bring as something worth having.
I mean, double neck guitars are just too expensive, take too much space, they don’t look good, they are too heavy…and the only good thing they have is this minor convenience during performances. Whoa…still not enough for me to get it for myself.
I hope this article gave you some valuable information. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it, I’m more than happy about it.
Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues!
Cheers, and rock on!