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Choosing Your First Acoustic Guitar

10/01/2022
The acoustic guitar comes in a range of shapes and sizes, but what makes each one so special? Here’s our rundown of the most iconic acoustic guitar types, and what they can bring to your sound.

Whether you’re new to the guitar, or a seasoned professional, we can all relate to the magical experience of strumming away on an acoustic. What seems like a straightforward instrument on the surface, actually offers a large variety of shapes and sizes – each with their own unique qualities that make them flourish in their own unique way.

Dreadnought. Jumbo. Concert. The list goes on. With so many acoustic guitar types out there, it can often prove difficult to find the best acoustic for your sound. That’s why we’re breaking down each body shape, one-by-one, so you can walk away knowing which is best for you.


Dreadnought

Fender FA-125 DreadnoughtCharacterised by its large size and often tipped as the ‘traditional’ acoustic model, the dreadnought is without a doubt one of the most iconic and recognised guitar shapes out there. And with big size comes big sound, offering gigantic projection to carry your chords and a richer, fuller resonance that smaller shapes simply can’t compete with. This makes it perfect for big strumming and multiple genres, as its bold and dynamic projection thrives in live settings.

But that’s not to say it doesn’t do the job for fingerpickers. In fact, the dreadnought is becoming more and more popular amongst more delicate players due to its ability to maintain volume during soft, intricate fingerstyle performances. It’s versatile. Which is why you’ve probably seen your favourite guitarist hold one at some point; almost everyone has experienced the power of this iconic guitar.

Whether you’re after one with rounder/sloped shoulders for a more mellow character or square shoulders for that bolder impact, you can be sure to nail any genre with the dreadnought. That’s why they’re an established go-to for players everywhere.

 

Shop now | Dreadnought Acoustic Guitars

Shop now | Dreadnought Electro Acoustic Guitars


Jumbo

Jumbo-guitar-bodySeen in the hands of Bob Dylan and Noel Gallagher, the jumbo is another instantly recognisable shape. It’s slightly larger than the dreadnought, however a nipped-in waist results in a much richer sonic footprint and characterful tone.

Similar to the dreadnought, it has a big, bold sound with plenty of powerful projection. But what makes the jumbo stand out is its deeper bass tone. This, in turn, contributes much more to a live band setup with other instruments and is therefore a hot favourite amongst rhythm guitarists.

Plus, did we mention the jumbo looks stunning? You can spot a jumbo in a crowd of guitars from its massive lower bout and curvaceous shape. It truly is a breath-taking instrument.

 

 

Shop now | Jumbo Acoustic Guitars

Shop now | Jumbo Electro Acoustic Guitars


Parlour

Hartwood Villanelle Parlour Acoustic GuitarAn old school ‘sit on the front porch’ lap guitar, the parlour takes a turn away from the previous body shapes with its small and comfortable size. It was originally designed as a cheaper substitute for larger models, but it soon became renowned for its signature folk twang. This makes it ideal for folk, blues, roots, and all-things alternative due to its distinctive tonal character and brighter resonance.

But the parlour’s true beauty lies in its convenience. With so many modern musicians on the road, the parlour serves as the ultimate travelling guitar, finding the perfect balance between authentic sound and a compact design. So, sit comfortably and explore the possibilities…

 

 

 

Shop now | Parlour Acoustic Guitars

Shop now | Parlour Electro Acoustic Guitars


Grand Auditorium/Auditorium

Hartwood Villanelle Grand Auditorium Electro Acoustic GuitarA great all-rounder. The auditorium finds the sweet spot between the bold resonance of the dreadnought and jumbo and the more elegant, twinkling qualities of the parlour. That’s why it’s possibly the most versatile acoustic body shape on this list.

The medium-sized construction carries a balanced projection that simply oozes with tone and texture. So, whether you’re picking or strumming, the best of your playing style will be showcased with a brilliantly consistent response.

The standard auditorium is all about precision and control, with its slightly smaller size resembling the comfortable qualities of the parlour. On the other hand, the grand auditorium is ever-so-slightly larger, achieving richer resonance and projection reminiscent of the dreadnought and jumbo models.

But one thing’s guaranteed with both auditorium shapes – balance. And it’s showcased through any genre and any playing style.

 

Shop now | Auditorium Acoustic Guitars

Shop now | Auditorium Electro Acoustic Guitars


Concert

Student Electro Acoustic Guitar by Gear4musicComfortable, compact, and great for picking. The brighter tone of the concert model hosts a range of benefits to fingerstyle players. Since its tone possesses a greater high-end than the larger-sized models, fingerpickers and lead performers can cut through the mix much more easily on stage.

Each note is defined, with a greater focus on articulation rather than depth and resonance. Of course, the typical qualities of acoustic guitars entail textured chords and big sound. And so, naturally, the concert offers that too.

But if you’re someone who prefers to separate your chords with fingerpicking or throw in an improvised lick or two – the concert guitar is ideal for you.

 

 

 

Shop now | Concert Acoustic Guitars

Shop now | Concert Electro Acoustic Guitars


Cutaways

Ibanez-AEG70One thing to consider with any acoustic guitar shape is a cutaway. While not essential, cutaways open a window of possibilities to the player. The slick design provides more freedom to your fretting hand, enabling you to reach the upper frets with ease and perform solos much higher up the fretboard than you would normally be able to.

You’re essentially gifted with around 10 extra frets to utilise at your will, so it’s definitely something to consider if you frequently explore those restricted frets.

You will most likely come across two types of cutaways: Venetian and Florentine. The Venetian boasts a smooth, rounded curve whereas the Florentine shape features a much sharper point. Both of which provide the exact same benefits, the only difference being aesthetics.

So, the decision comes entirely down to preference. It’s one of the rare occasions as a guitarist where you can justify your choice solely on how it looks, so be sure to take advantage. Trust us, they’re few and far between!

 


Find out more

Now you’re clued up, there are plenty of acoustic guitars to explore! If you’re looking at an electro-acoustic guitar, you may also want an acoustic guitar amplifier.

 

Shop now | Acoustic guitars

Shop now | Electro Acoustic guitars

Shop now | Acoustic guitar amplifiers

Product Marketing Executive

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