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Closer Look at Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes

Do you know which guitar body shape is perfect for you and your playing style? Any musician who wants to play and perform to the best of their abilities well will say "yes", which means, knowing about your acoustic guitar body shapes is essential. All guitars are not created equal or crafted the same way and the difference in shapes influence the sound they produce. If you know the sound you want to produce, selecting the perfect body shape is an important part of the decision making process when selecting an instrument.

The CM Guitar

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.

Dreadnought guitar

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.

Parlor Guitar

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.

Concert Guitar

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.

Auditorium Guitar

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.

The Jumbo Guitar

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.

There are a few other body shapes that are not part of the Breedlove standard offering, but are good to know about as a player. Breedlove has crafted instruments with the body shapes in the past, but they are not currently offered.

Orchestra Model Guitar

Also referred to on occasion as a Grand Auditorium model, or "OOO," this is a guitar body shape that is great for solo players and good for finger style guitar players, as it gives a very well balanced tone, volume and projection. It’s moderate in size but lacks the heavy bass which most other guitars of its size produce.

Tenor Guitar

The tenor guitar is similar to the four-string steel acoustic guitar. It is slightly smaller and this guitar shape is popular with many jazz players. Tenor banjo players initially played on this acoustic guitar without having to learn the six string guitars, which were slowly replacing tenor banjos in the early 1930s.

Acoustic guitars come in various shapes and these are some of the most common ones. Once you know your guitar body shapes and the various tonal differences they produce, you can become adept at producing different sounds at different times and understanding which shape is best for you. Understanding body shapes will also help you discover your own personal and unique music style, helping you to create your signature sound and set yourself apart from the crowd.