Are you thinking about picking up the guitar? If so, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what size guitar you want. There are a variety of different acoustic guitar body shapes and sizes available on the market, and each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks.
In this article, we’ll break down the most popular guitar body shapes and sizes to help you choose the right one for your needs.
Three Things You Should Know About Guitars
Let’s go through some basic information about guitars before we get into guitar body shapes and sizes.
3 Main Parts of a Guitar
Before we get into guitar sizes and body styles, let’s briefly go over the three main parts of a guitar. Every guitar has a neck, body, and headstock.
The neck is the long piece of wood that extends from the headstock to the body. The body is the large, hollow part of the guitar where the strings are anchored. And the headstock is the small part of the guitar at the end of the neck where the tuning pegs are located.
3 Main Types of Guitars
Acoustic, electric, and classical guitars are the three most common types of guitars.
Acoustic guitars are the most popular type of guitar; they’re well-rounded and versatile instruments that are suitable for a variety of different genres. Electric guitars are typically used in rock and blues music. And classical guitars are often used in flamenco and other traditional Spanish music.
3 Key Factors to Consider when Choosing a Guitar
When it comes to choosing a guitar, there are three main things you need to consider: the size of the guitar, the shape of the guitar body, and the type of guitar.
The size of the guitar is important because it will determine how comfortable you are while playing.
The shape of the guitar body is important because it will affect the tone and volume of the guitar.
And finally, the type of guitar is important because it will determine what style of music you can play.
How to Measure Guitar Sizes
When it comes to guitar sizes, there are three main things you need to keep in mind: scale length, body width, and body depth.
The most important measurement is the guitar’s scale length, which is the distance between the nut (the small piece of plastic at the end of the neck) and the bridge (the piece of plastic or metal where the strings are anchored). The scale length will determine how long the guitar’s strings are, and therefore how low or high the notes will be.
Body width is measured at the widest point of the guitar body, and body depth is measured at the thickest point of the guitar body. These measurements are important because they’ll affect both the comfort of the guitar and the guitar’s sound.
When it comes to choosing a guitar, size definitely matters. The length of the guitar’s neck, the width of its body, and the overall shape of the instrument can all have a big impact on the way it sounds and feels to play.
Popular Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes and Sizes
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular acoustic guitar sizes and body styles.
Acoustic Guitar Body Sizes
4/4 size guitar
The most common guitar size. Also called a “full-size guitar,” this is the standard size guitar for adults. It typically measures 38 inches in length, with a 25.5” scale length (longer than wide). A guitar with a scale length of approximately 25 inches is considered a full-size instrument.
The 4/4 size guitar is the most popular type of guitar. It is also the most versatile, able to be used for a variety of genres. The 4/4 size guitar is the largest of the four sizes, followed by 3/4 size, 1/2 size, and 1/4 size guitars.
3/4 size guitar
A guitar that is slightly smaller than a full-size guitar. It is a great choice for those who are looking for a smaller instrument that is still big on sound. The instrument is in fact about 7/8ths of the full size. The majority of three-quarter guitars are 36 inches in length, with a 23.75” scale length.
Thanks to its smaller size, the 3/4 size guitar is more comfortable to play for those with smaller hands or shorter arms. In addition, the 3/4 size guitar is often lighter than full-size instruments, making it easier to transport and carry around. And while the sound of a 3/4 size guitar may not be as full-bodied as a larger instrument, it can still offer plenty of volume and projection.
2/4 size guitar
The length of a half-size guitar is roughly 34 inches, not half of the full-size guitar. It is a great choice for children or those with small hands. The half-size guitar is also lighter than a full-size guitar, making it easier to carry around.
1/4 size guitar
A guitar with a quarter-sized body is not one-quarter of the full size guitar. The typical length of a quarter-sized guitar is 30 inches, with a 21.75” scale length.
The sound of a quarter-size guitar may not be as full and rich as a larger instrument, but it is still a great option for very small children or those with extremely small hands.
Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes
In addition to size, another important factor to consider when choosing a guitar is body style. The most popular guitar body shapes are:
1. Dreadnought Guitar
The dreadnought is the most popular guitar body shape. Dreadnought guitars have a large, deep body that provides a rich, full sound. They’re great for strumming chords and singing along with, but can also be used for fingerpicking and other styles of playing.
2. Jumbo Guitar
Jumbo acoustic guitars are the largest type of guitar. It’s BIG and BOLD, much larger than a dreadnought. It has a wide and a deep body, which gives it a loud, full sound. They have a deep, powerful sound that’s great for rock and country music. The jumbo guitar is a great choice for those who want a guitar with a lot of volume and projection.
3. Auditorium Guitar
An auditorium guitar is smaller than a dreadnought but larger than a concert guitar. It is a mid-sized guitar with excellent balance, volume, and projection. Auditorium guitars are versatile and can be used for a variety of playing styles.
4. Orchestra Guitars
Orchestra guitars, often known as Orchestra Model (OM), are slightly larger than an auditorium guitar. Because they are nearly the same size, some companies do not make a distinction between the auditorium and orchestra.
OM guitars are often used by fingerstyle players because of their excellent balance and projection. They’re also a popular choice for those who want a guitar with a clear, articulate sound.
5. Concert Guitar
The concert guitar is even smaller than the auditorium guitar, with less low end. It has a small body and a shallow body, which gives it a warm, mellow sound. The concert guitar is a great choice for those who want an intimate, nuanced sound. They have a bright, punchy sound that’s perfect for solo playing and singer-songwriters.
6. Parlor Guitar
The parlor guitar is the smallest of the acoustic guitars. It has a narrow body and a shallow body, which gives it a warm, intimate sound. The parlor guitar is a great choice for those who want a guitar with a mellow sound.
7. Travel/Mini Guitar
Travel or mini guitars are even smaller than parlor guitars. They have a very compact body and are easy to take with you on the go. Travel guitars have a small sound, but they’re still great for playing and practicing.
What Is the Best Guitar Size for Beginners?
If you’re just starting out, a concert or auditorium guitar is a good place to start. These sizes are comfortable to play and won’t be too overwhelming for a beginner. As you get more experience, you can always upgrade to a larger guitar if you want.
How To Choose The Best Guitar Size and Shape
Now that you know the basics of guitar sizes and body styles, it’s time to start shopping around! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re trying to find the perfect guitar for you:
– Consider your height and hand size. You want a guitar that’s comfortable to play, so make sure to take these factors into account.
– Think about your playing style. Do you want a guitar that’s good for strumming or one that’s better suited for fingerpicking?
– Think about the tone you want. Do you want a guitar with a warm, mellow sound or one with a bright, punchy sound?
– Consider your budget. Guitars come in a wide range of prices, so it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping.
With these things in mind, you should have no problem finding the best guitar size and shape for you. There are a ton of great guitar companies out there, so take your time and find the perfect guitar for you. Happy shopping!
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