What Are the Types Of Acoustic Guitars?

14 minutes read

There are several types of acoustic guitars available, each with its own unique characteristics and design. Some common types include dreadnought, concert, grand auditorium, parlor, jumbo, and orchestra models. Dreadnought guitars are known for their larger bodies and loud, powerful sound, making them popular among bluegrass and country musicians. Concert guitars, on the other hand, have smaller bodies and a balanced tone, making them ideal for fingerstyle playing. Grand auditorium guitars offer a versatile sound and a comfortable size that works well for a wide range of playing styles. Parlor guitars are smaller and more intimate, with a vintage sound that is popular among folk and blues players. Jumbo guitars have a bold, booming sound that works well for strumming and flatpicking. Orchestra guitars are similar to concert guitars but typically have a slightly larger body and a warmer tone. Each type of acoustic guitar has its own unique sound and feel, so it's important to try out different models to find the one that best suits your playing style and preferences.

Best Acoustic Guitars of May 2024

1
Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 5 out of 5

Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Nato and mahogany back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
2
Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

  • One right-handed Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Rock Steady Tuners: Chrome die-cast tuners help keep your guitar tuned with the perfect amount of tension, and they don't attract much dust or grime
3
Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

  • The Squier SA-150 is a full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price.
  • This guitar also features scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard to give you an instrument that looks as good as it sounds.
  • With its slim, easy-to-play neck and full-bodied dreadnought tone, the SA-150 is an ideal choice for all rookie strummers.
4
Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

  • One right-handed Fender SA-150 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Durable Materials: All-Laminate construction allows this guitar to last long and sound as great as it looks a an affordable price
5
Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

  • One right-handed Fender Alternative Series Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar – a perfect beginner guitar for both kids and adults
  • Backed by a 75 year legacy of quality and craftsmanship -- the FA Series has all the sound and style of Fender's iconic acoustic guitars with specially designed features for beginners.
  • This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
6
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

  • Gloss Natural
  • Dreadnought body style
  • Laminate Spruce top
  • Sapele back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
7
Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • The perfect guitar for beginners
  • Legendary Yamaha build quality
  • Spruce Top
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Chrome Tuners
8
Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

  • Dreadnought body
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Mahogany back & sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard


What is the importance of the saddle and nut materials in acoustic guitars?

The saddle and nut materials in acoustic guitars play a crucial role in the overall tone and playability of the instrument.


The saddle, which is located on the bridge of the guitar, is responsible for transmitting the vibrations of the strings to the soundboard of the guitar. The material of the saddle can greatly affect the tone and sustain of the guitar. Common materials for saddles include bone, plastic, and synthetic materials. Bone is considered to be one of the best choices due to its ability to transfer vibrations effectively and produce a warm, rich tone.


The nut, located at the top of the fretboard, guides the strings as they pass over the fretboard and helps determine the spacing of the strings. The material of the nut can affect the tone, sustain, and playability of the guitar. Common materials for nuts include bone, plastic, and synthetic materials. Bone nuts are also preferred for their ability to transfer vibration effectively and produce a clear, bell-like tone.


Overall, the choice of saddle and nut materials in acoustic guitars can greatly impact the tone and playability of the instrument, making it important for players to consider these factors when choosing a guitar.


What is the difference between all-solid and laminate acoustic guitars?

All-solid acoustic guitars are made entirely of solid pieces of wood, typically of higher quality and often produce a richer, more resonant sound. Laminate acoustic guitars, on the other hand, use thin layers of wood glued together, making them more affordable and less susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature. Laminate guitars generally have a brighter and sharper sound compared to all-solid guitars. Overall, all-solid guitars are typically considered to be of higher quality and produce a better tone, but laminate guitars can be a more budget-friendly option for beginners or casual players.


How to distinguish between dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars?

There are a few key differences between dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars that can help you distinguish between the two:

  1. Size and shape: Dreadnought guitars are typically larger and have a deeper body compared to concert guitars. Dreadnought guitars have a more square shoulder shape, while concert guitars have a narrower upper bout and a more pronounced waist.
  2. Sound: Dreadnought guitars tend to have a louder and more powerful sound due to their larger body size and shape. Concert guitars, on the other hand, have a more balanced and focused sound with a slightly reduced bass response.
  3. Playability: Dreadnought guitars are generally more comfortable for players with larger hands or longer arms, as the larger body size allows for easier access to the fretboard. Concert guitars are often preferred by players with smaller hands or those looking for a more intimate playing experience.
  4. Tone: Dreadnought guitars are known for their rich, full-bodied tone with strong bass response. Concert guitars, on the other hand, have a clearer and more articulate tone with a balanced sound across the frequency spectrum.


Overall, the best way to distinguish between dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars is to compare them side by side and play them to see which one suits your playing style and preferences better.


What is the history behind the different types of acoustic guitars?

The history of acoustic guitars can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where stringed instruments were played in various forms. However, the modern acoustic guitar as we know it today has evolved from several distinct types over the centuries.

  1. Classical Guitar: The classical guitar, also known as the Spanish guitar, is believed to have its origins in Spain in the 18th century. It is characterized by its smaller body size and nylon strings, which produce a warm and mellow tone. Classical guitars are typically used in classical music, flamenco, and other traditional genres.
  2. Steel-String Acoustic Guitar: The steel-string acoustic guitar emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and became popular in folk, country, blues, and rock music. These guitars have a larger, dreadnought-shaped body and steel strings, which produce a brighter and louder sound compared to classical guitars.
  3. Resonator Guitar: Resonator guitars were invented in the 1920s as a way to increase the volume of acoustic guitars for use in bands and other musical settings. They have a metal resonator cone built into the body, which amplifies the sound of the strings and produces a distinctive twangy tone. Resonator guitars are commonly used in blues, bluegrass, and country music.
  4. Parlor Guitar: Parlor guitars were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as smaller, more portable instruments for home use. They have a smaller body size and a lighter construction, which gives them a more delicate and intimate sound. Parlor guitars are often associated with blues, folk, and early jazz music.
  5. 12-String Guitar: The 12-string guitar features double courses of strings, with the lower four pairs tuned in octaves and the upper two pairs tuned in unison. This results in a rich, shimmering sound that is popular in folk, rock, and country music. The 12-string guitar became popular in the 1960s during the folk music revival.


Overall, the history of acoustic guitars is a rich and diverse one, with each type of guitar contributing to the development of different musical styles and genres. Today, acoustic guitars continue to be popular instruments in a wide range of musical contexts, from classical to rock to world music.


What is the role of the finish in the aesthetics of acoustic guitars?

The finish of an acoustic guitar plays a significant role in its aesthetics. It not only protects the wood from scratches, moisture, and other damage, but it also adds a level of visual appeal to the instrument. The finish can enhance the natural beauty of the wood grain, highlight intricate details in the design, and give the guitar a polished and professional look. Additionally, different finishes can affect the overall feel and tone of the guitar, as thicker finishes may dampen vibrations and affect resonance, while thinner finishes may allow the wood to vibrate more freely. Ultimately, the finish of an acoustic guitar can greatly impact its overall appearance and playability.

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