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7 Acoustic Guitar Body Types, Sizes, Shapes, & Differences

If you go shopping for an acoustic guitar, you will get to see terms like “concert,” “parlor,” “dreadnought”, and more on different guitars.

I bet you have! These are the different acoustic guitar body types. Each body type serves a distinct purpose in the music world. Now, it entirely depends on you which guitar type is ideal for your music choice.

Want to know more about guitars and their body types? If yes, then binge on till the end of the blog.

Too Busy To Read? Check The List Here.

Here’s a list of all the acoustic guitar body types: 

  1. Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar: This guitar is designed with a broad waist and deep body and comes with quite a small upper bout. 
  2. Grand Auditorium Acoustic Guitar: This Auditorium design sits perfectly in the grey area between the big acoustics, just like the Dreadnought.
  3. Orchestra Model (OM) Acoustic Guitar: It’s an astounding mid-sized guitar with striking balance, projection, and volume. 
  4. Concert (00) Acoustic Guitar: This shaped guitar came to popularity in the late 17th century, and due to its striking curves and aesthetic looks, the guitar got its spotlight! 
  5. Jumbo Acoustic Guitar: The Jumbo guitar is famous for its vast body, striking curves, broad bouts, and pinched waist. 
  6. Parlor Acoustic Guitar: This shaped guitar sometimes comes with a slotted headstock, no pickguard, a neck that joins to the head, and rounded shoulders.
  7. Slope-Shoulder Acoustic Guitar: This Slope-shoulder, a.k.a; the Round or Curved shoulder, is mainly a variant of the old and classic Dreadnought style.

Acoustic Guitar Body Shape Explained

Depending On Body Shapes 

  1. Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The dreadnought acoustic guitar was introduced in 1931, and currently, it’s the most famous and recognized guitar style of all time. This guitar is designed with a broad waist and deep body and comes with quite a small upper bout.

Martin first introduced it and came with an astounding 12-fret body. However, it changed to its most popular form in 1934. The scale length is around 25.4 inches, and the body has a depth of around 4.9 inches. 

Fact: These round-shoulder dreadnoughts are very much available to date. It’s an ideal pick for picking and strumming.  

  1. Grand Auditorium Acoustic Guitar

Well, the Auditorium guitar shape should be pretty new to you when you compare it to its actual acoustic design. 

This Auditorium design sits perfectly in the grey area between the big acoustics, just like the Dreadnought. There have been many variants of this guitar’s style, and there is still an ongoing debate about which variant is the best for you. 

The Auditorium, a.k.a “the Triple-O,” features certain segments between Classical and Dreadnought guitars. 

However, the Auditorium’s overall size is smaller compared to the dreadnought or the classical ones.

Fact: The best part about the Auditorium is that it’s highly comfortable to play compared to others. 

  1. Orchestra Model (OM) Acoustic Guitar

This Orchestra Model is also known as the “OOO” or Auditorium. It’s an astounding mid-sized guitar with striking balance, projection, and volume. 

That’s not all; this OM has more presence than the “O” or Parlor guitars. However, it doesn’t come with the heavy bass that other guitars give. 

This guitar version makes an astounding finger-style guitar, especially for solo gigs. 

  1. Concert (00) Acoustic Guitar

Concert acoustic guitars are relatively compact compared to the Jumbos and Dreadnoughts. You’ll be amazed that the concert is the oldest acoustic-shaped guitar available. 

This shaped guitar came to popularity in the late 17th century, and due to its striking curves and aesthetic looks, the guitar got its spotlight!

Fact: This shaped guitar is still considered one of the most comfortable guitars ever. Plus, if you’re a beginner, you’ll also love playing this guitar. 

  1. Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

The Jumbo guitar was widely famous for its huge body, and it was even known as the “big body guitar” to many people. This Jumbo-shaped guitar came with more striking curves, broad bouts, and a pinched waist. 

Moreover, the broadness of its curves even ensures big sustain and volume, but its size takes quite some time for people to get used to.

A Jumbo will even give you excellent resonance and projection, all thanks to the room and space you’ll get in its body.  Plus, the shape’s low-end depth can even provide an entire band sound with clear and striking tunes. 

  1. Parlor Acoustic Guitar

If you’re a guitar enthusiast, you must have heard about the Parlor acoustic guitar. It’s mainly a classic guitar design that was quite famous around the 20th century. 

This shaped guitar sometimes comes with a slotted headstock, no pickguard, a neck that joins to the head, and rounded shoulders. However, it’s not likely that you’ll see such guitars anywhere in your local guitar stores.

Fact: The general dimensions of this guitar are 18 ¼ inches, 4 inches deep, 9 and ½ inches body width, and 13 ¼ inches lower body width.

  1. Slope-Shoulder Acoustic Guitar

This Slope-shoulder, a.k.a the Round or Curved shoulder, is mainly a variant of the old and classic Dreadnought style. 

It comes with a pretty big-bodied instrument and quite some depth to the sound. However, just like its name suggests, the guitar comes with pretty curvy sides on its shoulders right beside the area where the body meets the guitar’s neck.

Check out the Zager easy-play guitar size (based on the convenience of the guitar players):

Dreadnought 41” Full Size – ZAD20
– ZAD20E
– ZAD80
– ZAD80CE Aura
– ZAD900
– ZAD900CE
OM Size40″ Orchestra Model – ZAD50 OM
– ZAD80 OM
– ZAD900 OM
Parlour Size38″ Parlor Size– Parlor Size Mahogany
– Parlor Size Mahogany Electric
Travel Size36″ Travel Size– Travel Size Mahogany
– Travel Size Mahogany Electric

Check out the hands-on review and compare our different sizes:

Depending On The Guitar Tone 

Now, when it comes to acoustic guitars, they are more like those “musical celebrities,” all with their unique style, personality, and looks. Not just that, each even comes with a warm, balanced, loud, or even bright tone. 

Well, these variations tone-wise come due to the differences in their build, the design, and the types of wood being used. 

Eager to find out the secrets of the tone of the different guitar types? If that’s a yes, keep reading till the end of the section. 

  1. Basic Acoustic Guitar Sound

Well, the basic acoustic guitar sound is mainly the overall foundation where all the tones in the world are built. It won’t be an exaggeration to state this tone as the blank canvas of the entire musical world. 

If you look carefully, you’ll see that a rounded acoustic guitar has a neutral tone. It even sits comfortably to many songs and music, making it a popular choice for different musical styles.

And when you strum a basic acoustic guitar, you’ll notice a full-bodied sound with an astounding resonance. The notes of this guitar even come with quite a pleasant sustain. 

This balanced tone is perfect for accompanying vocals, fingerpicking, and even melodies. Plus, it’s quite a reliable sound for many musicians as the sound is the origin of many other tunes. 

  1. Warm-Tone Acoustic Guitar

We call a tone warm when it has strong frequencies (below 800hz and around 6 to 7khz). Now, you may wonder what a warm tone feels like!

Well, think of the comfy crackling of a fireplace on a chilly night. Now, the vibe that you’ll get is the vibe of a warm-tone acoustic guitar. 

This warm tone mainly comes from the construction and wood types used with mahogany or cedar tops. And when you do play a warm-tone acoustic guitar, you’ll see a mellow, lush sound producing a comfy sonic sound blanket. 

  1. Bright-Tone Acoustic Guitar

A bright-tone acoustic guitar usually focuses on the upper mid to even high range of frequencies. Usually, brighter-toned notes provide note separation and clarity. 

However, just a quick expert tip: if you emphasize the upper highs and mids more, the tunes will start to sound harsh. And eventually, you’ll lose the clarity you need. 

As I’ve often faced this issue, ensure you don’t focus too much on the upper and mid notes. 

Keeping it natural will always give you the perfect “bright tone” you need from your bright-toned acoustic guitar!

  1. Balanced-Tone Acoustic Guitar

A balanced-tone acoustic Guitar is mainly an acoustic guitar type designed to give you the ideal distribution of frequencies throughout the tonal spectrum. 

So, what’s the purpose of this balanced-tone acoustic guitar? The primary goal is to generate a well-balanced sound with clear mids, lows, and highs without any specific frequency range.

If you know how to play a balanced-tone acoustic guitar, you can bring out your inner guitarist in no time. 

  1. Loud Acoustic Guitar

“Loud” acoustic guitars are mainly those guitars that are designed and built to give a powerful and robust sound when played. 

Well, this guitar type is often loved by performers who prefer solo performances, different acoustic bands, or playing with little amplification.

And if you ask me, I even love loud acoustic guitars, as these are perfect for my music taste. Plus, if you’re an intermediate guitar player, there are tens of such loud acoustic guitars that you can try to elevate your guitar-playing skills. 

Depending On Guitar Playing Styles

  1. Fingerpicking Guitar

Well, fingerpicking guitar is mainly the technique that is played on bass or normal guitars. And it’s done by plucking the guitar strings only using your fingernails or fingertips. 

Now, you may wonder what type of songs can be played with this style. Well, there’s a versatile music option you can go with this playing style. Folk, country, and blues are some of the music choices you can play through fingerpicking style. 

Expert Tips: It takes time to get the hang of this playing style, and with practice, you’ll find the sweet spot of hitting the “perfect” tunes.

  1. Strumming Guitar

It’s considered one of the easiest guitar-playing styles of all time. And if you’re a beginner, this playing style is ideal. 

If you’ve learned a few chords already, the strumming style can give you the feeling you need to pluck those strings. 

However, if you want to elevate your guitar skills to the next level, then you should also start singing with the chords. This will give you a better understanding of the tunes and chords. 

Expert Tip: I listened to many music and songs while still learning to strum guitar. But listening to songs and trying to strum the tune helped me improve. 

  1. Bluegrass Guitar

Bluegrass is a traditional music style known as “mountain music” or sometimes even as “old-time music.” 

And you’ll be amazed to know that the guitar wasn’t the main instrument of this traditional music. Usually, banjos and fiddles were the main instruments used at that time. 

However, if you ask me, I love this playing style a lot. Know why? This traditional playing style gives a different folk and vintage vibe that is amusing and soothing to hear. 

So, if you want to introduce a new playing style, the Bluegrass guitar style can be on your checklist. 

  1. Folk Guitar

Just as the name suggests, folk guitar playing style mainly refers to the folk music being played on the guitar.

This form of playing style is vibrant, and its simplicity makes it one of the most famous in the world. 

And do you know the fun part? Unlike many other playing styles, you can easily identify folk guitar styles. Here’s how: 

  • You’ll have an open tuning, meaning you’ll have a richer and quite resonant sound.
  • You’ll see the involvement of fingerpicking, as folk music is all about control over your sound.
  • Capo can also be used to increase the pitch of the song you play.
  1. Country Guitar

This is another striking playing style that you’ll love a lot! I love this playing style as it has “the spice” that escalates “the flavor” of your songs. 

In simple words, the country guitar playing style is the language of today’s modern generation. This playing style leans a lot toward electric guitar, and that’s why most rock and metal music follows this style. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. How Many Acoustic Guitar Body Types Are Famous Today? 

Well, there are mainly 3 most common types of acoustic guitar body types. Namely:

  • Grand concert 
  • Dreadnought 
  • Grand auditorium cutaway

These mentioned names are just the most common types, but there are other guitar body types available, too!

  1. Name The Two Main Acoustic Guitar Types 

The two main acoustic guitar types are the classical guitar and the steel-string acoustic guitar. 

  1. Which Is The Best Acoustic Guitar To Date? 

By far, Martin D-35 is one of the most popular and best acoustic guitars to date. 

  1. What Is The Most Popular Acoustic Guitar Body Type? 

The dreadnought is the most popular acoustic guitar body type of all time! 

  1. What Is A Cutaway Acoustic Guitar?

A cutaway is mainly the indentation of a guitar’s treble and upper side bout, which gives you access to the guitar’s upper frets. Cutaways are usually loved because of the aesthetic looks they have in general! Plus, with this guitar, you’ll find all the necessary functions and features to excel your overall needs. 

So, Which Acoustic Guitar Body Types Will You Pick? 

So, after going through this blog, I believe you should now have a clear understanding of the different acoustic guitar body types available. 

Now, each guitar body type serves a different purpose, and depending on that, you need to make your own choice. Yet, if you face any difficulties while choosing the ideal guitar body type, don’t hesitate to consult an expert!

Author Avatar
Jolene, a guitar enthusiast whose journey began by watching their uncle Dennis Jr. craft guitars. Growing up surrounded by the mesmerizing process of guitar creation, Jolene developed a profound appreciation for the artistry behind these instruments.

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