Acoustic Guitar: Various Body Shapes

Guitar body shapes & styles

Various Acoustic Guitar body shapes and how the shape impacts the sound that is produced from the guitar.

For someone who doesn’t play the guitar, s/he may not have realized that acoustic guitars are available in different shapes and sizes.

And guitars with different body shapes can produce different sonic qualities. Guitars made by the same maker, with the exact same tone woods and construction methods, but with different body shapes can sound different.

Here are the popular guitar shapes, ordered from smallest body size to largest body size. We haven’t listed the exact dimensions because they can vary depending on the guitar manufacturer/maker.

guitar body shapes & styles

Here’s more about the different body shape styles:

  • Parlor Guitars
    Smallest acoustic guitar body size. Preferred for fingerpicking. The have a light, yet balanced sound.

  • Concert, or Model “O”
    “O” guitars are slightly larger in size and like parlor guitars, are balanced in tone and response and produces deep bass tones. Suited for fingerpicking.

  • Grand Concert, or Model “OO”
    The Grand Concert is based on the shape of the classical guitar, and is one of the quietest acoustic guitars. Its sound is not as bright or balanced as the smaller models, and not as bassy or boomy as the larger sizes. It has a solid mid-range register.

    Like classical guitars, these produce clean, warmer sound. These are not harsh when played on the higher frequencies, but can produce a muddy sound when used for fast strumming.

  • Orchestra Model, Grand Auditorium, or Model “OM” or “GA”
    This model is also sometimes called an Auditorium or “OOO”. It is a mid-size guitar, with great balance, volume, and projection. It has more presence than the smaller guitars mentioned above but lacks the heavy bass response of the larger guitars mentioned below. Use it for finger-style playing, or for solo gigs.

  • Dreadnought
    This is the most common acoustic guitar shape. When people talk about guitars in western music, they usually mean this model. The dreadnought is a large-bodied guitar that has a lot of bass response. This guitar is a favorite among flat-pickers and is also great for accompanying vocals because of its full-sounding lower registers (support the voice well).

  • Jumbo and Super-Jumbo
    Among the largest guitars you will find, often used for strumming because of their great bass response. Popular in country music.

Also Read: Different types of Guitars

Looking for an Acoustic Guitar – Which Body Type to Choose? Here’s a nice video.

Various components of the guitar, such as strings, tuners, nut, fret board, neck and bridge shape the overall sound, but the body of the guitar also creates a major impact on the sound produced. These are the different types of guitar; the shape, combined with different tonewoods and craftsmanship can produce different sounds.

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