Please check out Jack Harris’s heartfelt tribute song to Glen Campbell, The Farewell Blue Guitar, with Brent Mason on lead guitar!

Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

A look at the history behind many of the guitars Glen has used throughout his career.
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KMFrye54
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Re: Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by KMFrye54 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:35 pm

I have a copy (my third) of "the Astounding Twelve String Guitar'' that I located about a year ago in a used record shop. My plan is to digitize it on my own using a USB turntable that I found in a local audio store for $59.00 on sale.

That's one way to get a digital version (for your own use), which you can then burn to a CD or load on your phone, etc.

I gave up on 12string lessons after about four of them back in the 60's when my teacher insisted on finger-picking and wanted nothing to do with the Campbell style. Taught myself to pick like Glen as best I could by wearing out the LP, and it worked ok for me. Over the years since then, I've developed a hybrid style that adds my baby finger to the mix every now and then in the picking, plus an occasional guest appearance by the ring finger to make the rolls a little more smooth. That's the style I've come to call "mine"

Then one day I happened to be watching his PBS special and suddenly noticed that Glen doesn't simply flatpick- he also adds the odd finger lick to his playing! It's subtle for the most part, but the advent of modern HDTV and bigger screens has served to make it more visible than it was back in the "Goodtime Hour" days. This is particularly visible at the into of "Try A Little Kindness" at the end of the PBS North Dakota special, but it seems to be a style he was using a lot in those years..

So when I added my extra bit 'way back in the day (about 1971), I may have been making my so-called "style" a little more authentic than I thought! Here's a link to the song/show. I realize in this case he's playing a 6 string electric, but if you really watch you can catch it on the William Tell Overture in the same concert. The "Kindness" vid shows it a little more clearly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX7NNMKBPsw



12string
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Re: Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by 12string » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:50 am

Hi Mike, One day I was on Ebay and I was wondering the cost of Gibson 12 string guitars. Turn's out there were a lot of them. I was looking for just one, cheap, good shape, had to be a b25-12n-12. There were several b45's that's the larger body Gibson 12 string. I found a b25 that needed some work done to it. It needed new frets and was in Las Vegas Nevada. and I live in Reno Nevada. I bought it and had the frets worked. It's a beauty vary low action and loud.
Back in the 60's there were no tabs so I recorded the tunes on real to real tape players and listened over and over. It's hard this way. I got to where I could hum the tune and I would hunt the strings until I found it. Lonesome 12 was the first. I got to where I could play right along with Glen. Some tunes are still hard to master.
I sent letters back in the early days of the 60s to Mel Bay for books on Glen playing the 12 string. They sent me a reply saying it was not worth there time and money. Leadbelly and Pete Seeger were top on the charts. So I continued the way I was doing it and it's hard at times but it works. Glen played that 12 string with such fineness that was the only way I wanted to learn the 12. The tunes were all instrumental no singing. Folk, blues, and bluegrass is how I wanted it. Those records really hit the spot with me. Don't get me wrong I like his singing also. If anyone knows of tabs for those early 3 vinyl records of Glenn playing just the 12 string let me know. I know that the 12 string recordings of the 60's was just a fad but there are still younger 12 players that like that music. I've never seen a CD of those records. I see a lot of 12 players on youtube and all they play is cord's no flat picking tunes. TKS....



Mike Joyce
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Re: Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by Mike Joyce » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:55 am

Hey 12string,
It's great to hear from a fan of such long standing. Good on you for keeping up with the playing as well. How on earth did you find that Gibson guitar after all this time and does it feel nice to play on.
I would think those tunes would be quite a challenge to learn especially as you have no tabs. There is a guy who plays a couple of instrumentals at my local club each month, but he does have the tab book to help. Do you normally play instrumentals or do you also play and sing as well.
Regards,
Mike



12string
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Re: Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by 12string » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:56 am

The first tunes I ever had the pleasure of hearing of Glen's was way back in 1964. There were three vinyl records of Glen playing the most outstanding tunes that a vary young boy had ever listened to. I wanted to play the 12 string and flat pick just like Glen. One day my dad bought me a 12 string guitar and there is where Glen Campbell came into my life. I knew nothing about playing a guitar much less playing a 12 string guitar. I'm almost 70 years old and still have not given up on learning to play all of Glen's tunes on those three records. He had a style of playing that has stuck with me all these years. There were other 12 string players back in the early sixties that sounded to slick with a lot of glitz in there playing but not Glen, he had that bluegrass folk sound that I really really like. As I got older I went to a music store and bought a well worn out Gibson B25-12N-12 string just like Glen played on those records. I sold that 12 string guitar 25 years ago as it was starting to fall apart. I just last month bought a real nice Gibson B25-12N-12 string and back playing those tunes I've been learning all those years. Sad part is there are no tabbed music for me to speed up my learning of the tunes and all the you tube players just want to play chords.



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Dee
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Re: Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by Dee » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:14 pm

Glen Campbell is posing here with his Gibson B25-12N Twelve String Guitar. (Thank you, jay, for confirming this guitar's identify for me.)
Apparently, Glen was 28 years old when this picture was taken, dating the guitar with Glen to 1964, the same year "The Astounding 12 String Guitar of Glen Campbell" was released.
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Glen Campbell at 28 years old with Gibson B25-12N Twelve String Guitar
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jay
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Glen Campbell's Gibson B25-12N Twelve String

Post by jay » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:26 pm

The Gibson B25-12N 12 string was first introduced by Gibson in 1961. It was Gibson's first entry into the 12 string market. With the onset of the Folk Era of the early 1960’s, well known guitar builders started producing quality twelve string guitars. Glen appears to have started his 12 string career with a 12N, which stood for "natural finish".

Glen is captured in several TV appearances with this guitar in the early 60's:

Here is seen singing "Kentucky Means Paradise" around 1962.



He also appeared on several episodes of Star Route playing the Gibson 12.



The Gibson B25 made the front cover of Glen's album dedicated to the 12 string..."The Astounding 12 String Guitar of Glen Campbell" which was released in 1964.
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The Astounding 12 String Guitar of Glen Campbell
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It appears that Glen lost interest in the B25 after a few years as other 12 strings, both acoustic and electric, took the B25's place.



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