What's the Difference Between A Dreadnought And A Concert Acoustic Guitar?

15 minutes read

The main difference between a dreadnought and a concert acoustic guitar lies in their size and shape. Dreadnought guitars are larger and have a more square-shouldered body, which typically produces a louder and fuller sound. They are often preferred by those who play more aggressive styles of music such as country or bluegrass.


On the other hand, concert acoustic guitars are smaller and have a more rounded body shape, which can produce a brighter and more focused sound. These guitars are often favored by fingerstyle players or those who prefer a more balanced tone.


In addition to their size and shape, dreadnought guitars generally have a longer scale length than concert guitars, which can influence the playability and overall sound of the instrument. Ultimately, the choice between a dreadnought and a concert acoustic guitar comes down to personal preference and playing style.

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 volume difference between a dreadnought and concert acoustic guitar?

The volume difference between a dreadnought and concert acoustic guitar can vary based on the specific models and designs of the guitars. Generally speaking, dreadnought guitars are known for their larger body size and louder volume compared to concert guitars, which have a smaller body size and produce a slightly softer sound. The volume difference between a dreadnought and concert acoustic guitar can range from subtle to significant, depending on the specific characteristics of each guitar.


How to amplify a dreadnought acoustic guitar?

There are several ways you can amplify a dreadnought acoustic guitar:

  1. Acoustic guitar pickup: A pickup is a device that can be installed inside the guitar to capture the sound of the strings and convert it into an electrical signal that can be sent to an amplifier. There are many different types of pickups available, including soundhole pickups, under-saddle pickups, and contact pickups.
  2. Microphone: You can also use a microphone to amplify your dreadnought acoustic guitar. Simply place a microphone in front of your guitar and connect it to a mixer or amplifier.
  3. Preamp/DI box: A preamp or DI box can help to improve the sound quality of your amplified guitar signal. It can also provide additional controls for adjusting the tone and volume of your guitar.
  4. Amplifier: Connect your guitar to an amplifier to increase the volume and add some color to your sound. There are many different types of amplifiers available, ranging from small practice amps to larger stage amps.
  5. Effects pedals: You can also use effects pedals to further enhance your amplified guitar sound. Consider adding pedals like reverb, delay, chorus, or overdrive to create different sonic textures and tones.


Overall, the best way to amplify your dreadnought acoustic guitar will depend on your personal preferences and performance needs. Consider experimenting with different amplification methods to find the sound that works best for you.


How to customize a dreadnought acoustic guitar?

  1. Change the strings: One of the easiest ways to customize your dreadnought acoustic guitar is to change the strings to your preferred brand and gauge. Different strings can have a significant impact on the guitar's sound and playability.
  2. Upgrade the tuners: Upgrading the tuners can improve the guitar's tuning stability and make it easier to stay in tune. There are many high-quality tuner options available, ranging from traditional open-gear tuners to modern locking tuners.
  3. Add a pickup system: If you want to play your dreadnought acoustic guitar live or record with it, adding a pickup system can be a great customization. There are many options available, including soundhole pickups, under-saddle pickups, and microphone-style systems.
  4. Personalize the appearance: You can personalize the appearance of your dreadnought acoustic guitar by adding custom inlays, decals, or a new pickguard. You could also consider refinishing the guitar with a new color or a custom design.
  5. Install a strap button: Adding a strap button to the heel of the neck can make it easier to play the guitar standing up. This is a simple customization that can greatly improve your comfort and playability while playing live.
  6. Upgrade the saddle and nut: Upgrading the saddle and nut can improve the guitar's tone and playability. Consider replacing them with higher-quality materials, such as bone or ebony, for a better overall sound.
  7. Adjust the action: Adjusting the action of your dreadnought acoustic guitar can make it easier to play and improve its overall playability. You can do this yourself or take it to a professional guitar technician for a setup.


How to compare the tonewoods used in dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars?

When comparing the tonewoods used in dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. Size and Shape: Dreadnought guitars typically have a larger body size and shape compared to concert guitars. This difference in size can affect the overall tonal characteristics of the guitar, as larger bodies tend to produce more volume and bass response.
  2. Top Wood: The top wood of an acoustic guitar plays a significant role in its tone. Common top woods used in dreadnought guitars include Sitka spruce, cedar, and mahogany, while concert guitars often feature cedar, spruce, or redwood tops. Each of these top woods has its own unique tone and characteristics, so it is important to consider which type of top wood best suits your playing style and musical preferences.
  3. Back and Sides Wood: The back and sides wood of an acoustic guitar also influences its tone. Dreadnought guitars are often made with woods such as rosewood or mahogany, which produce a strong bass response and pronounced midrange. Concert guitars, on the other hand, may feature woods like mahogany, maple, or koa, which can result in a more balanced and nuanced tone.
  4. Overall Sound: When comparing tonewoods in dreadnought and concert guitars, pay attention to the overall sound and tonal characteristics of each instrument. Dreadnought guitars tend to have a more powerful and projecting sound, making them ideal for genres like bluegrass and country music. Concert guitars, on the other hand, are known for their balanced and versatile sound, making them suitable for a wide range of musical styles.


Ultimately, the best way to compare the tonewoods used in dreadnought and concert acoustic guitars is to try out different instruments and see which one matches your playing style and preferences. By considering factors such as body size, top wood, back and sides wood, and overall sound, you can choose the guitar that best suits your needs.


How to play chords on a dreadnought acoustic guitar?

  1. Familiarize yourself with the basic chord shapes: The most common chords played on a dreadnought acoustic guitar are C, D, E, G, and A. These are the basic open chords that you can use as building blocks to play many songs.
  2. Place your fingers on the fretboard: When playing chords on a dreadnought acoustic guitar, you will need to place your fingers on the correct frets and strings to produce the desired chord. Make sure to use the tips of your fingers and press down firmly on the strings to ensure a clean sound.
  3. Strum the strings: Once your fingers are in the correct positions, use a pick or your fingers to strum all the strings of the guitar. Start off by strumming slowly and make sure each string rings out clearly.
  4. Practice transitioning between chords: Once you are comfortable playing each chord individually, practice transitioning between different chords. This will help you play songs smoothly and accurately.
  5. Experiment with different strumming patterns: As you become more comfortable with playing chords on a dreadnought acoustic guitar, experiment with different strumming patterns to add dynamics and rhythm to your playing.
  6. Practice regularly: Like any musical skill, playing chords on a dreadnought acoustic guitar takes practice. Make sure to set aside time each day to practice and improve your chord-playing skills.


What is the size difference between a dreadnought and concert acoustic guitar?

The main size difference between a dreadnought and concert acoustic guitar is in the overall body dimensions. A dreadnought guitar typically has a larger and wider body compared to a concert guitar. The specific measurements can vary, but generally speaking, a dreadnought guitar is around 41 inches in length, 16 inches in width at the lower bout, and 4.75 inches in depth, while a concert guitar is around 39 inches in length, 15 inches in width at the lower bout, and 4.5 inches in depth. This difference in size can affect the tone, volume, and projection of the guitars.

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