Whether you are a very experienced, intermediate or new guitar player – understanding how different guitar body shapes perform, feel and sound is important when deciding on which guitar to purchase. Do you want to have a guitar that suits your playing style and desired sound? Any musician who wants to play well will say “yes”, which means, knowing about your acoustic guitar shapes is essential. Guitar body shapes are crafted differently with specific differences in sound and tone. If you know the sound you want to produce, then perhaps, you can start your search with the shape that produces that sound. If you are still trying to determine your sound, then start by leaning about the different guitar body shapes and how they sound, so can choose the sound you want to create!
(Image: the image on the left shows examples of various acoustic guitar body shapes from the Pursuit Series of instruments.)
Different Body Shapes of the Acoustic Guitar:
The dreadnought guitar is one of the most common shapes in acoustic guitars and a little additional trivia, the guitar body shape is named after a British battleship. This shape of the acoustic guitar accompanies and supports vocal accompaniment very well. The Breedlove Dreadnought is slightly more rounded than traditional dreadnoughts, producing beautifully full, punchy, and articulate tones. The Dreadnought appeals to players inspired by the familiarity of a dreadnought, who are looking for nuance and richness from their instrument. The Breedlove Dreadnought projects well, so it excels in an ensemble, and yet retains the refinement needed for vocal accompaniment. Watch a video about this body shape.
Breedlove Parlors are incredibly balanced with an abundance of sound, volume, and projection. Don’t be fooled by the Parlor’s compact size: It’s a serious musician’s instrument. Inventive bracing allows for a thinner graduated top, allowing the soundboard to move more freely, providing warmth, clarity, and balance with dynamic midrange. You’ll be amazed at the amount of sound provided by such a small body. Whether you’re at home or in the studio, the Breedlove Parlor is an intimate experience that connects you to your music in a visceral, inspiring way. If you're only looking for a guitar which is great for finger picking, strumming and an all around great body shape – then the parlor guitar is the right choice for you. It is small in body size make it easier to travel with than some of the larger body shapes. Watch a video about this body shape.
Also compared and similar to the model “O” guitar, the concert guitar is larger in size as compared to the parlor guitar but gives a similarly balanced tone. The Concert is our most popular body shape, favored by players because it is well-balanced, compact, comfortable to play, and offers all the qualities of a great sounding guitar. It generates a wonderfully articulate range of tone with an ample low end that is never boomy, but always felt. The Concert works well when played fingerstyle, as vocal accompaniment, or at a full strum. Watch a video about this body shape.
The CM is an award-winning, asymmetrical body shape. One of Breedlove’s most well-known shapes – no other guitar looks or sounds quite like it. The sonic imprint of the CM is uniquely full spectrum and immensely gratifying; the lower bout rewards the player with a generous, defined bass while the abbreviated upper bout generates beautifully balanced and clear treble tones. The CM has been described as having piano-like qualities. Excellent for alternate tunings, the CM is an adventurous design that will appeal to players who wish to expand their sonic and visual boundaries. Watch a video about this body shape.
The Breedlove Auditorium is the sonic mid-point between our Concert and Jumbo body shapes. Its depth and lower bout combined with its upper body cutaway produce the articulation of the Concert, with tonal depth reminiscent of the larger-bodied Jumbo. An extremely versatile instrument, the Auditorium casts a nod into dreadnought territory while also accommodating alternate tunings, fingerstyle and bold strumming. These characteristics make the Auditorium an outstanding platform for Breedlove 12-string guitars as well. Watch a video about this body shape.
The Breedlove Jumbo is our largest body shape by volume. Playing the Jumbo is a powerful experience: Sound feels sonically propelled by the movement of so much air inside the body. It’s the perfect shape for conveying big, beautiful chords across all six strings – a strummer’s paradise. The Breedlove Jumbo is also an excellent platform for 12-string guitars. Watch a video about this body shape.
This short video overview explains and shows the different acoustic guitar body shapes and sizes.