As I previously published, counting 12/8 time can be done either in 1/8th notes or in my opinion more successfully in 16th notes. After careful consideration I have revised & updated this system into a new and improved version which is now available only to site members.
Many teachers and Music Theory sites will tell you that you count 12/8 time out in 1/8th notes. Well yes this is true but this is only good if you are using 1/8th notes all the time, which is a bit repetitive. To be more musical and creative you are at some point going to want to subdivide the beat into other compound time configurations so sticking rigidly to counting the beat in 1/8 th notes is not going to be helpful and possibly it may actually become difficult. My method for counting in 12/8 time jumps ahead and actually uses the 1/16th notes to make the count assuming that this is the most useful and likely subdivision of the 1/8th note beat that you will use and encounter.