Acoustic Guitar Sizes Explained: Comfort and Fit Guide

The range of different acoustic guitar sizes and shapes available might surprise you. The acoustic guitar is an ancient instrument that has a history that goes back almost 4000 years! So it’s no surprise that there are so many styles.

With such a large selection of options available, this can make it hard to know what’s right for you and your style! If you are new to playing, perhaps it’s a good idea to know what is available, so you end up with the right fit.

So in this article, we are going to take a look at the different acoustic guitars and see how they compare.

Small Acoustic Guitars

Small-size acoustic guitars are generally defined as having smaller bodies than others. It makes them easier to handle and play for those with smaller body frames or for travel purposes. There are several types of small-size acoustic guitars. Below you will find the most common sizes.

Travel Size

Acoustic Travel Guitar.
Travel Acoustic.

Travel guitars are designed specifically for portability. With a smaller size and often a compact shape. They can fit in an airplane overhead compartment or a backpack. They usually have a shorter scale length than other guitars.

This can make them more comfortable to play for those with smaller hands. However, due to their smaller size, they may not have the same level of projection. Volume levels are often lower than larger guitars.

Martin makes a travel guitar called the backpacker, which sounds pretty good for its size. The price tag is small and so having it around for those business trips works out great! They tune well and sound decent and are great for travel.


Parlor Guitar.
Parlor Guitar.

Parlor guitars are one of the oldest styles of acoustics. Dating back to the late 19th century! They have a smaller body than most other acoustic guitars. This is because they were originally designed for use in small parlors or drawing rooms.

The parlor, being smaller, also had a softer mid-range sound. It’s the perfect choice for entertaining guests. And so they are often prized for their sweet, mellow tone. Many players favor them because they can work well for fingerpicking styles or blues.

Mini Acoustic

Mini Acoustic Guitar.
Mini Acoustic.

Mini guitars are often marketed as children’s or practice instruments. They are easy to handle and can be a good option for those with very small hands. Or even those who are just starting out with the instrument. However, due to their small size, they may not have the same level of sound quality as larger guitars.

Some also come with electronics and other options that provide a great experience. The GS mini is a smaller version of the grand symphony body style produced by Taylor. When properly designed, a mini acoustic can be a great experience.


Concert Size Acoustic Guitar.
Concert Sized Acoustic.

Concert-sized guitars are slightly larger than the parlor. But, they are still smaller than traditional dreadnought or jumbo acoustic guitars. They are often more comfortable to play than larger guitars and have a balanced tone.

They can work well for a variety of styles. The concert size is popular with fingerstyle players. They appreciate their responsiveness and clarity. With this size, the scale length becomes longer.

Yet, the string tension is still lower than a dreadnought. So you get strings that are easy to press and a larger frequency range that can add flexibility to your sound.

Medium Sized Acoustic Guitars

Medium size acoustic guitars are slightly larger. Yet, they are still smaller than traditional dreadnought or jumbo guitars. They offer a balance between comfort and volume. This makes them a popular choice for many players. Below are three types of medium size guitars to consider.

Grand Concert

Grand Concert Guitar Body.
Grand Concert Acoustic.

The grand concert is louder and offers more benefits. They were introduced in 1984 to meet the needs of fingerstyle players. They are perfect for anyone who wanted more comfort and a pronounced version.

The body is still smaller than the dreadnought-style guitars. They have lower string tension and a slightly smaller scale length. The tapered waist and wider neck are a fingerpicker’s dream. The grand concert doesn’t have a huge bass sound, but is fine-tuned to keep the overtones in check. This is all thanks to the tapered waist.

The Grand concert is an excellent choice when there are a lot of other instruments in a mix. It’s a perfect fit for performances or recordings. So when looking at acoustic sizes and shapes, you should consider this guitar.​


Auditorium guitars are slightly larger than the concert size. They have a rounded shape that provides a fuller, more balanced sound.

They are versatile instruments that can be used for a variety of playing styles. This includes fingerpicking, strumming, and flatpicking. They are popular with acoustic and folk musicians due to their rich, warm sound.

Grand Auditorium

Grand Auditorium
Grand Auditorium Guitar.

The grand auditorium is another mid-sized acoustic guitar. It was designed to be well-balanced in sound. This is where a finger, and a flat picker, can come together and meet in the middle.

Introduced in 1994 by Taylor acoustic guitars, it became popular for its versatility. Musicians have embraced the smaller body shape and well-balanced sound.

The grand auditorium’s body shape can cover many playing styles. It can also hold up well in many genres of music. It also has some great features like electronics on board and a cutaway. These options alone make this a versatile acoustic with a comfortable scale length!

Large Acoustic Guitars

Large-size acoustic guitars are known for their volume and projection. They are ideal for players who want a powerful, rich sound that can fill a room. Here are the most common large-size guitars to consider.

Grand Symphony

Grand Symphony Guitar.
Grand Symphony acoustic size.

Introduced in 2006, the grand symphony body style delivers a rich and powerful sound. It’s pretty much a full-sized guitar! The dimensions of the guitar are larger than that of the grand auditorium. This gives it a boost in sound and volume.

The lower bout is a bit larger than the auditorium body style. It also has a wider waist, expanding the bass and lower mid-range.

The string tension is tighter. A driving pick attack will produce fullness, volume, and sustain. This makes it popular for strummers, but responsive enough for fast picking runs as well!


Dreadnought Guitar
Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar.

The dreadnought acoustic guitar was developed by C.F. Martin & Co. in 1916 and is the most common style. The deep low-end, mid-range, and articulate treble, have caught the attention of musicians.

With a wider waist and larger body style, the dreadnought will sit higher in your lap. But might be big for smaller musicians. Yet, the powerful tone and loudness are often reason enough to overlook the size.

Options like onboard electronics and a cutaway begin to serve the player’s needs. This makes the dreadnought an even more powerful tool. Over the years, manufacturers have refined the shape to make it more comfortable. Making it easy for anyone to get into a dreadnought.

The dreadnought body style is recommended for musicians who need a workhorse of a guitar. One that meets most demands no matter what the situation. From recording to touring or campfires and travel, this is a well-rounded model. It’s the most common for a reason in the full-sized guitar category.


Taylor Grand Orchestra Acoustic Guitar
Jumbo Acoustic Size.

The jumbo acoustic size adds even more volume and frequency response. It’s perfect for those who want more! This body style has a larger lower bout and a more pronounced waist. It’s produced with small differences depending on the manufacturer.

The jumbo can still get some good response from a light touch, but the real volume is created when you give it more!

If you are a smaller musician, it may be a challenge to play the jumbo guitar. Reaching over the larger waist and getting comfortable could be difficult. Even though the scale length is similar to a dreadnought

But if you can swing it and want that extra punch from your instrument, the jumbo is where it’s at as a full-sized guitar!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Guitar Size

When choosing an acoustic guitar, there are several factors to consider that can help you find the right size for your needs. Here are the important ones to consider.

Your Size

Consider your own body size and shape when choosing a guitar. Do you have a smaller body frame? Then a smaller guitar may be more comfortable for you to play. Conversely, if you have a bigger body frame, a larger guitar may feel more comfortable. Here is a table to help you with suggested guitars for your size.

Player HeightRecommended Guitar Size
4 feet.Medium Size Guitars, Mini Acoustics, Parlor, Travel.
5 Feet.3/4 Size, and Dreadnought.
5.5 Feet.Dreadnought, and Jumbo.
6+ Feet.All Full Size Guitars.

Playing Style

Consider the style of music you want to play when choosing a guitar. If you want to play fingerstyle or classical music, a smaller guitar may be more suitable. If you want to play strumming or rhythm, a larger guitar may be more suitable. This is very important to consider/

Sound Preference

Consider the sound you want to achieve when choosing a guitar. If you want a sweet, mellow tone, a small size guitar may be more suitable. If you want a powerful, rich sound, a large size guitar may be more suitable.


Consider your budget when choosing a guitar. Generally, smaller-size guitars are less expensive, but there can be exceptions. Make sure to choose a guitar that fits within your budget and provides the best value for your money. There are many options available today, so take your time to explore them.

Acoustic Guitar Sizes


Choosing the right size acoustic guitar is vital for a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player! There are several factors to consider when selecting a guitar size.

Ultimately, the best way to find the right guitar size is to try out different models. Then, see which one feels most comfortable and sounds best to you. Never be reluctant to seek help from seasoned players or staff members at music stores. With the right guitar size, you can fully enjoy the wonderful experience of playing.


What is the Standard Size for Acoustic Guitars?

The standard size or most common acoustic guitar is the dreadnought. Even though this model can feel big and clunky to some players, it’s the easiest to adapt to.

Even a smaller person can get used to this size the more they use it. There are more dreadnought acoustic guitars in music stores than any other. So players gravitate to them by default.

They play nice and sound good with their full big bass response. People don’t normally complain about the acoustic guitar body. Not until they have had a chance to try a different model or a smaller form. And because you can get them with and without electronics, they are also very versatile.

Are 3/4 guitars for adults?

Yes, adults can play 3/4-sized guitars and are encouraged to when full-size is not comfortable. Not everyone is the same, and so some adults might prefer the smaller size. The one thing that you might notice is that the sound of a smaller guitar is not quite as bold.

But even jumbo acoustic guitars might be a bit too loud for some circumstances. So explore the different sizes until you find the ones that fit you best.

What is the best size acoustic guitar for beginners?

For an adult that is getting started, a dreadnought will tend to be the best acoustic guitar size. Yet, this depends on their stature and hand size. For a child that is beginning to learn, normally a 3/4 size guitar is a better fit. But this depends on their age and height.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!