24 Types of Acoustic Guitar – Body Shapes and Styles

Have you ever wondered why some guitars look curvy while others look, well, a bit more chunky? Or why do certain acoustics sound bright and others, mellow? The magic lies in their body shapes and styles. Let’s jump right into the fascinating world of acoustic guitar types, and by the end, you’ll be an unofficial guitar guru… or at least, you can sound like one at parties;)

1. Dreadnought

The Dreadnought shape is like the ‘classic’ of the acoustic world. If guitars had a “one-size-fits-most” category, this would be it. Introduced by Martin in the 1910s, its large body gives a deep, boomy sound, making it a favorite among folk, rock, and country players.

2. Parlor

Now, imagine you took a time machine back to the 19th century. Parlor guitars would be the in-thing. They’re smaller and have a more delicate sound, making them perfect for fingerstyle playing and blues.

3. Jumbo

This is the heavyweight champ of the guitar world. With its large and rounded body, the jumbo is loud and has a ton of bass response. Country and rock players? They love this one.

4. Auditorium (or Grand Auditorium)

Mid-sized and super versatile, the Auditorium, sometimes called the Grand Auditorium, is like the Goldilocks of guitars: not too big, not too small, but just right. It’s great for both strumming and fingerpicking.

5. Concert

This one’s got a curvy figure and is slightly smaller than the dreadnought. Concert guitars are favored for their balanced sound – it’s like having the best of both worlds!

6. Travel & Mini-Acoustics

Size doesn’t always matter, folks! Travel and mini-acoustics are scaled-down versions of their larger cousins, making them perfect for road trips, bonfires, and impromptu jam sessions.

7. Classical

Nylon strings, wide neck, and a mellower sound – welcome to the world of classical guitars. Often used for classical music (duh!) and flamenco, they’re the go-to for fingerstyle players.

8. Archtop

Ever seen a guitar that looks like it’s ready for a jazz club? That’s an archtop. Characterized by their hollow body and a distinct arched top, they give out a vibrant, acoustic tone.

9. Resonator

When one soundhole just won’t cut it, enter the resonator with its distinctive metal cones. Used predominantly in blues and bluegrass, these guitars are all about that raw, metallic vibe.

10. 12-String

Why have 6 strings when you can have 12? These guitars offer a richer, ringing sound due to the extra strings. Every chord sounds like a chorus!

11. Cutaway

Not exactly a ‘type,’ but you’ve probably seen guitars with a chunk of their body, well, “cut away”. This design allows easier access to the higher frets.

12. Baritone

Tuned lower than the standard guitar, the baritone offers a deeper, resonant sound, like a blend between a guitar and a bass.

13. Tenor Guitar

Back in the jazz age, when tenor banjos were a rage, the tenor guitar surfaced to keep the banjoists company. With four strings and a shorter scale, it’s got a unique twang and is a fun alternative to the usual six-stringed affair.

14. Lap Steel Guitar

Slide enthusiasts, raise your hands! This one’s played horizontally, usually with a slide or “steel.” It’s a major contributor to that dreamy Hawaiian music and country twangs.

15. Flamenco

Not to be confused with the classical guitar, even though they look alike. Flamenco guitars are lighter, built for speed, and have a snappier tone. If you’re into rapid fingerwork and strumming, this one’s your dance partner.

16. Gypsy Jazz

Inspired by the great Django Reinhardt, this guitar has a distinct, oval soundhole and a more resonant, loud projection. It’s designed for… you guessed it: Gypsy Jazz style!

17. Renaissance & Baroque Guitars

Old is gold! These are the ancestors of the modern guitar. They have a wider, flatter body and are often beautifully decorated. And yes, they sound as ancient as they look – in a good way!

18. Harp Guitar

Ever looked at a guitar and thought, “This needs more strings”? Enter the harp guitar. It’s like someone merged a harp and a guitar for a unique, extended-range instrument.

19. Cigar Box Guitar

When life gives you cigar boxes, make guitars! Originating from the mid-19th century, these DIY instruments have a rustic charm and a surprisingly pleasant sound, considering their makeshift origins.

20. Lyre Guitar

This ornate beauty is inspired by ancient Greek lyres. With its arms and tuning pegs arching upwards, it’s more of a collector’s delight and less of a rocker’s choice.

21. Selmer/Maccaferri

Another gem from the jazz age, is recognized by its unique D-shaped or oval soundholes. If your playlist is full of hot club jazz tunes, you might recognize the distinct sound of this one.

22. Fretless Acoustic

Imagine a guitar and a violin had a baby! The fretless acoustic provides smooth slides between notes, making it perfect for those looking to venture into uncharted melodic waters.

23. Double Neck

Why settle for one when you can have two? Double-neck guitars have both a six-string and a twelve-string neck, letting you switch mid-performance. They’re a tad heavier but twice the fun!

24. Acoustic Bass

For those who crave the depth of a bass guitar but the vibe of an acoustic, this is your pick. It’s deeper, richer, and perfect for unplugged sessions.

So, next time you’re window shopping for guitars or watching a live performance, impress your mates with some nifty guitar knowledge. Keep exploring, keep playing, and remember: the world of guitars is as vast and varied as the music they make.