Guitar Lessons:  Types of Acoustic Guitars – Body Styles


Acoustic guitars are great for beginners taking acoustic guitar lessons as well as for experienced professionals. As guitars go, acoustic is the most popular type. But even within the genre of acoustic guitars, there are a great many variations. One of the variations that continuously crops up in discussions on comfort and compatibility is that of the body style.

There are three main body styles, and a few additional ones that are used sparingly. These are Classic: concert and grand concert, auditorium and grand auditorium, Dreadnought, and Jumbo. There are also other shapes that are not too common but will be discussed below.


The classic guitar is the one most commonly sought since it produces a good sound, is easy to handle for most people and also happens to have a long tradition behind it. It is especially popular with guitarists who fingerpick, because classic guitars tend to give excellent clarity between the high, mid and low tones. But this doesn’t mean that classic guitars don’t make for good strumming too, because they do. These generally use light gauge strings to avoid tensions on the neck.

Among the classic guitars, the concert guitar, dating back to the 1850s is excellent for petite musicians because of the smaller size of its body. However, it is the auditorium style which is in vogue and is extremely popular because it balances volume, tone, and comfort. Most people when they mention classic guitars, mean auditorium style acoustic guitars.


The dreadnought guitar gives a bigger sound than the classic, and is preferred by people who want a more booming and powerful sound. This is made possible because of its large soundboard, which enhances the sound capability of the guitar. It is highly suitable for heavy strummers because of its shape. The body style is very distinctive with square bouts, wide waists and 14-fret necks. These guitars generally work best with medium gauge strings.


Large, powerful and loud, the jumbo guitars are popular with people who like the classic guitar shape but also want the powerful sound of a dreadnought. The jumbo can be considered a glorified classic guitar, but it has its own small quirks. While it can be uncomfortable when sitting down to play because the body is far too big to fit into the lap, it is highly suitable for performing artistes on the stage who generally tend to use guitar straps.

Travel and Mini-Acoustics

While the classic, dreadnought and jumbo styles are the most popularly used guitars, there are also mini guitars that have become available for special reasons. One reason is for smaller people to be able to handle a guitar. Children taking beginner guitar lessons are also able to handle these models effortlessly. These guitars are also useful for people who regularly travel but want to be able to work on their music while traveling.

There are two types of mini-guitars: those which are simply a smaller sized classic guitars and backpackers, which are designed to be durable and lightweight with a narrow body that makes it easy for transport.

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