What Are Double Neck Guitars?

double_question_225x225A double neck guitar is a guitar or bass guitar with two necks instead of the traditional one. While it may look a bit odd at first, it has several advantages. The double neck guitar allows a player to have two different guitars at their disposal without taking the time to set one guitar down and pick up the other. This can get tiring, and forces you to stop playing while you switch guitars. With a double neck guitar, you simply move your hand down from one neck to the next. It only takes a second, and there's no need to stop rocking out. It's perfect for taking your guitar skills to the next level.

The most common configuration of the double neck guitar features twelve strings on the top neck and six on the bottom. This combination effectively combines both a regular guitar and a bass guitar into one instrument. A six string and a four string combination can be found as well, along with a combination using six strings for both necks. While the string count of this last one is the same, it can be tuned differently, still operating under the effect of creating two easy to reach guitars at once.

The double neck guitar made its way into rock history thanks to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and his revolutionary playing style. For the song "Stairway to Heaven," he needed to change between guitars, but didn't want to switch instruments mid-song. His solution was a double neck Gibson guitar. All he had to do was switch which neck he played on, and he could continue the song without missing a beat. He performed other songs on this guitar as well, such as "The Rain Song" and "The Song Remains the Same." The double neck guitar trend soon spread across the musical world. Other famous musicians began to play it in their own songs. Pete Townshend from The Who played a mean double neck guitar, and Chris Squire from Yes is famous for his double neck bass.

The typical double neck looks much like two guitars that have been fused together in the center. There are still two necks, though the size and number of strings varies between the two. There are two bridges as well, one for each neck of the guitar. They merely sit side by side on one body to allow the player to switch back and forth without hesitation. A variety of companies now make these guitars in all shapes and sizes, from the traditional to the wacky.

There are a number of ways musicians can take advantage of the double neck guitar. They can choose a double neck guitar that allows them to switch between an acoustic and an electric guitar, or they might choose to use two of the same guitar but tune each differently. The string counts can be varied depending on the individual's needs. A double neck guitar can even feature one regular guitar neck and one fretless neck. The possibilities are limited only by the musician's imagination.