Normal tuning is eeE-aaA-ddD-ggG, with one string of each course tuned similarly to the corresponding string of the four-string bass, and the remaining two strings tuned to the octave.
The first known 12 string bass guitar, the "Hamer Quad," was designed by Jol Dantzig and built in 1977 for Tom Petersson by Hamer Guitars. Petersson's Cheap Trick bandmate Rick Nielsen reports that Petersson first conceived of the instrument in 1973, and worked with Hamer over the next few years refining the design.
- Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. American guitar company Gretsch will begin to manufacture the Tom Petersson Signature Falcon, offered in both 4- and 12-string versions, in early 2017. 
- Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam. His 12-string bass playing can be heard in the intro to their hit song "Jeremy".
- Doug Pinnick of King's X
- Chip Z'nuff of Enuff Z'nuff
- Joey DeMaio of Manowar
- Peter Hook of Joy Division
- Clint Bahr of TriPod
- John Gallagher of Raven
- Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde
Other bass guitars with twelve strings
Although the model most commonly known as "the 12-string bass" is as described above, several other bass guitars with a total of twelve strings have been built to rarer or unique specifications.
- Spencer, Graham. "Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson, Inventor of the 12-String Bass, Adds to Rick's Picks Collection - Rick's Picks". www.rickspickslive.com.
- "Gretsch Announces Tom Petersson 12-String and 4-String Signature Basses".
- "The Pearl Jam Reference Library - An Online Archive of Articles on Pearl Jam". www.freewebs.com.
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