Parlor Guitars

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Parlor guitars rose to popularity starting in the late 18th century, and became a widespread phenomenon until the 1950s. Though demand for parlor acoustic guitars has since fallen, it's currently experiencing a renaissance -- get in on the action with a parlor guitar from brands like Martin, Washburn, Gibson, Collings, and more.

What is a parlor guitar?

A parlor guitar is an acoustic guitar with a very small body, smaller than an OM or size 0 Martin guitar. They’ve had waves of popularity in specific genres, most notably cowboy music, folk music, and blues.

What are parlor guitars good for?

Parlor acoustic guitars are ideal for smaller players who might find a larger sized acoustic guitar difficult to hold and play. In addition to their smaller size, they also have lower string tension, which can make it easier to play for those who haven’t built up strength in their hands. They’re ideal for smaller performances where the acoustic guitar doesn’t need to project a lot of volume, as they’re quieter than dreadnoughts and larger-body acoustics.

Who plays a parlor guitar?

Parlor guitars have a large list of fans, from the vintage parlor guitar strumming of Joan Baez to modern playing by Ed Sheeran. Taylor Swift, John Mayer, and Robert Johnson are a few other notable parlor guitar players.

How big is a parlor guitar?

By definition, a parlor guitar is smaller than the 0 style by Martin. Parlor guitar size can vary, but common parlor guitar dimensions are 18 1/4-inch long (or less), four inches deep, 9 1/2-inch upper bout (or less), 13 1/4-inch lower bout (or less)..

How is a parlor guitar different from a travel guitar?

When it comes to parlor guitar vs. travel guitar, a parlor guitar is a throwback to a certain shape of guitar that was especially popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s, while travel guitars aren’t really a throwback to anything—they’re designed to be easy to travel with, so their shapes and specifics can vary.

Parlor guitars also typically have longer and thinner bodies than travel guitars and a standard nut width, while travel guitars have a narrower nut width. It’s also more common for a travel guitar to have 14 frets before the frets meet the body, whereas parlor guitars traditionally have 12.

Parlor Guitars Near Me

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