Acoustic guitars come in many different shapes and sizes, which can contribute to their sound, playability, and overall feel. Here are some of the most common shapes and types of acoustic guitars.
This is probably what you picture when you think “acoustic guitar”. The dreadnought body shape is distinguished by its large body and square shoulders and bottom. The neck is typically attached to the guitar at the 14th fret. They’re considered a standard guitar in bluegrass music.
The first dreadnought-style guitar was produced by C.F. Martin & Co. in 1916. The term “dreadnought” referred to a type of large battleship that was used at the time.
Here are some dreadnought guitars available in the Fret Zealot store:
Jumbo acoustic guitars are the largest standard acoustic guitar type. Its extra-large size provides a deeper tone with lots of volume.
The big sound this style produces makes it perfect for strumming music, including pop, folk, and country. This style is popular in Nashville for this reason.
On the other end of the acoustic guitar size spectrum is the parlor guitar. Parlor guitars are small acoustic guitars that are also narrow, making them great for fingerstyle playing. They produce a high-end midrange tone.
They get their name because they were frequently played in parlors in the 19th century.
Auditorium guitars have plenty of similarities to dreadnought styles, but they’re slimmer in the waist – which also results in less depth. They feature a brighter tone and are quieter than dreadnoughts. Auditorium guitars are better suited for fingerpicking than dreadnoughts, but dreadnoughts are better for strumming.
Auditorium guitars come in regular and grand auditorium sizes.
Classical guitars/Nylon string guitars
Classical guitars are traditionally strung with nylon string and are usually used in classical music. Classical guitars have been around longer than modern acoustic and electric guitars. Their origins can be traced back to stringed instruments used in Spain in the 15th and 16th century, which eventually became the baroque guitar.
The proper playing of a classical guitar is slightly different from other acoustic styles. The musician props the guitar up on their left leg to allow their strumming or plucking hand to be closer to the sound hole.