Types of Double Neck Guitars


While they have been around as long as the guitar itself, double-neck guitars have never been the norm. They come from every arena of stringed and necked instrument, from the Hawaiian lap steel to bass guitars. Thus, types of double-neck electric guitars are better categorized by their function, most of them constructed for purposes of tuning, tone, and filler, and multi-format.



Tuning and Tone
The least common type of double-neck guitar is one in which both necks are constructed and strung the same but are either tuned differently or create a different set of tonal effects. This is evident in one of the earliest versions of this type of instrument: the double-neck Hawaiian lap steel. This is also seen more recently in double-necks used by rock and metal guitarists, one neck having standard tuning and the other using a low D tuning configuration.

While not particularly popular in the West, the harp-guitar and sitar-guitar found a rather wide following in eastern pop music and began to make a transition into American music with the advent of psychedelic rock in the 1960s and 1970s. The crux of this guitar's function is that one neck would support drone strings, to provide filler notes or sound, while melodies were played on the other neck.

The most common type of multi-format double neck guitars is one in which, because of its construction and stringing, each neck is capable of producing completely different tones, melodies, and octaves. Some of the most popular configurations include the following set-ups: guitar and mandolin, lead guitar and bass guitar, and six-string neck with a twelve-string neck.