Do Guitars Come in Different Sizes
There are many different sizes of guitars, and the size of your guitar has a big impact on playability. The importance of matching the right guitar size to the individual should be clear to anyone who has ever seen a young child struggle to play a full-sized guitar.
This guide will answer some of the most common questions about guitar sizes. This information will help you choose the most appropriate guitar for your needs or determine the correct size case for your guitar.
When looking at different sizes, it is essential to consider playability and sound quality.
Despite smaller guitars’ convenience for travel, more prominent acoustic guitars are much louder and have different tonal characteristics.
Here are the Main Different Sizes of Acoustic Guitars:
Of course, there are other, more bizarre sizes and shapes, but these are the most common.
The sizes and shapes of guitars are difficult to categorize into tight groups because each brand differs subtly in its sizes and shapes. This post primarily discusses Martin and Taylor shapes since most other shapes emulate these shapes.
The Half- and 3/4-size guitars are designed specifically for children, so they are very small. Compared to full-sized guitars, they are quieter and sound full, but they are also less expensive. This makes them ideal for children who are just learning to play the guitar.
In addition to traditional shapes, they can also work well as travel guitars.
There are several groups of people who will enjoy these little guitars:
- Kids: Small-bodied guitars are often easier for people with small bodies to play with. If your child has problems handling a full-sized guitar, a mini guitar will be a better choice.
- There are some adults with small hands who have difficulty playing full-size guitars. If you have small hands and have trouble fretting chords on a larger guitar, you might consider a mini guitar.
- Travellers: Mini guitars make great travel instruments. They are small enough to pack up and take on trips but not so tiny that they don’t produce many sounds.
- The question for professional and serious amateur guitarists is: why waste time on a mini guitar? Simply because they are excellent! Although we have a bunch of full-sized instruments at home, we are still impressed whenever we play these little things.
Here are a few mini guitars you can choose from:
Cordoba Mini M
- Solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides
- Miniature nylon string guitar with full size feel and playability (20.125" [510mm] scale length, 1.875” [48mm] nut width)
- Natural satin finish
- Custom Aquila string set, tuned to A
- Includes custom Cordoba gig bag
When it comes to string instruments, this is one of the few brands that can go head to head with Yamaha. The Cordoba guitar family has proven its mettle when it comes to reliability, quality, and style. Student or beginner guitars such as the Cordoba Mini M are designed primarily for students. However, the features we will see shortly show that the model is well suited to practice lessons and on-the-road use.
Cordoba guitars are known for their rugged wooden construction, whether they are mini or full-length models. In addition to the back and sides of the instrument, the Travel M is made of mahogany. The guitar has a miniaturized size, and nylon strings make it feel and play well. In addition, this unit incorporates the Aquila string design, making it a far more advanced design than other units in its class.
There is only one miniature acoustic guitar with the characteristics of an acoustic guitar: the Cordoba M Travel Acoustic Guitar. You can tune the Mini M just like a guitar up to 4th-A or within a standard E.to any chord within an E. With Aquila high strings, you know this is an excellent guitar for beginners or student players – not for children.
Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar
- Mahogany pattern HPL (high pressure laminate) textured finish, solid sitka spruce top
- Rust Stratabond neck, shortened 3/4 scale
- Chrome small-knob tuners. Tusq saddle.
- Solid Morado or East Indian Rosewood fingerboard
- Includes padded gig bag
This Martin LX1 guitar has many quality features that are similar to those of top-quality acoustic guitars. There is no shortage of top-notch features in Little Martin. For instance, the mini guitar comes with a solid rosewood fingerboard, a feature only found in real acoustic guitars.
An additional feature that sets this guitar apart from others is the textured finish. This is by far the best mini guitar for beginners
because of its high-quality mahogany laminate design.
Combined with the rosewood fingerboard, the little martin’s neck is made of rust strata bound, and its sound is similar to that of most acoustic guitars. This guitar features a black Micarta bridge with a tusq saddle and chrome knobs. An acoustic guitar is a perfect instrument for a student or beginner who wishes to hone their skills.
It is the perfect choice if you are looking for a guitar that won’t tire you out during practice or on the road. Aside from the excellent quality, the design is convenient for people with shorthands. Additional strings are also included on it so that they can be used if the original ones fail.
It is the smallest and cheapest acoustic guitar available, perfect for players who travel around a lot and need to play in different places. This kind of guitar is lightweight and thin and weighs about three pounds.
If you just want something to tinker with that’s easy to travel with and don’t need volume or a whole tone, then a travel guitar may make sense for you.
Our top pick:
Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa
- "1-style" Sitka spruce bracing
- Martin's patented neck mortise
- C.F. Martin script logo on headstock
There are 23 inches of scale length on the Little Martin Koa. The guitar has a terrific natural sound and is a good travel guitar. Sometimes, we lose quality when we look at smaller or cheaper models to find something that can weather a lot of travel. Still, the Little Martin features typical quality elements, such as its patented neck mortise. For exposure resistance, it is constructed with compressed spruce laminate and has a solid 1-style bracing.
Besides being ideal for smaller hands and children, these guitars have a modified body size that makes them great travel items.
In his early days, Ed Sheeran busked on a Little Martin.
One issue we have with this Martin guitar is that the case it comes with isn’t particularly suitable for travelling, even though it is rated as a top travel guitar. However, the Koa wood that goes into its construction makes it aesthetically pleasing. Consider using a guitar case made of Koa wood.
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
- 6-string Acoustic Guitar with Mahogany Top
- Layered Sapele Back
- Sides - Natural
- Neck Width 1-11/16 inch
The Baby Taylor BT2 is equally a 34″ size as the Little Martin above but is shaped like a dreadnought and is without a cutaway. It was initially designed as an entry-level guitar for beginners. There are a variety of decent materials used in the construction of this guitar, including solid mahogany and ebony fingerboards for ease of neck navigation.
As far as the sound quality goes, it is an extremely loud acoustic instrument, especially its smaller adapted size. As for the sound balance, it does seem to be biased toward the mids and highs. When we compare it directly with the Little Martin review, it does not sound as complete because the Little Martin has such great depth in the lower register.
This might be the one for you if you’re ambivalent between the two but prefer brighter treble tones. It has a scale length of 22″ to 34″ and a full 19 frets. Once again, the included soft case won’t suffice for a lot of long hauls but will work just fine for busking, camping in the woods, playing on the beach, etc.
Known as a Spanish guitar, this instrument is used mainly to play classical music and Spanish style guitar. There are nylon strings on this guitar instead of steel strings on electrics and other acoustics, and this guitar is smaller.
These guitars emit soft and warm sounds. The classical guitar is generally smaller than concert guitars, and it is more significant than mini-guitars, but there are some types and sizes of classical guitar.
However, only buy a classical guitar if that’s the sound you want or if you like how it feels.
Our top pick:
Taylor Academy 12e-N Nylon Strings
- Nylon Strings, Solid Lutz Spruce Top, Layered Sapele Back and Sides, Ebony Fretboard and Bridge, Taylor ES-N Pickup and Preamp, Built-in Tuner
Taylor is seeing great success with its Academy line, which offers Taylor’s full-fat experience at a price that makes it affordable for the many – at least relative to the full-fat Taylor experience. Taylor’s Academy 12e-N is an excellent nylon-string guitar that combines classical and flamenco styling with the ergonomics and familiarity of a steel-string guitar.
We liked the bevelled armrest, which made for a comfortable playing experience. In addition, we were impressed with how the onboard electronics maintained the guitar’s natural resonance no matter how loud it was.
Washburn USM-EACT42S Festival Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Mini Jumbo Florentine
- Select spruce top
- Maple neck with trussrod
- Flame maple capped headstock with Abalone overlays
- EQ4-T pickup system
Different styles of players will sometimes dabble with fingerpicking when the mood strikes. In this Washburn Festival EACT42S guitar, you’ll find the perfect instrument for a bit of musical escapism. A nylon-string guitar with dimensions and scaling not dissimilar to more traditional acoustics but with enough trappings to excel as an entry-level classical guitar, the Festival is a superb entry-point to the world of classical music.
Thanks to the unrestricted access to the upper frets and the 4-band EQ, we made exact adjustments to our amplified tones. Washburn Festival may not have been everyone’s cup of tea visually, but it delivered a lot of guitar for the money spent.
The parlour-sized guitar holds the distinction of being the most miniature steel-string guitar in terms of size besides travel and mini guitars. The size and shape of this guitar are old-fashioned, but it has gained a cult following/resurgence in recent times, as guitarists search for a traditional sound or a unique sound.
There are usually 12 frets on a parlour guitar (the neck connects to the body at the 12th fret)
Our top pick:
- Body Body type: Parlor Cutaway: No Top wood: Spruce Back & sides: Mahogany Bracing pattern: Info not available X Body finish: Open Pore Natural Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: Info not available Nut width: 1.65 in. (42 mm) Fingerboard: Rosewood Neck wood: Mahogany Scale length: 24.4 in. Number of frets: 18 Neck finish: Open Pore Natural Electronics Pickup/preamp:
- "With Ibanez's Performance guitars, you get professional features, quality, and great sound at extremely inexpensive prices backed by the Ibanez name and quality
- The PN1MHOPN features a mahogany body and spruce top with an open pore natural finish that lets the tonewoods' woodgrains speak eloquently for themselves
- This parlor also features a mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, herringbone purling, chrome open gear tuners with ivory knobs, and Ibanez Advantage Bridge pins
- Case sold separately
With the PN1MH, everything you’d expect a “blues box” to be is at your fingertips, including a highly affordable price.
The Ibanez Parlor Guitar has Ibanez’ reputation for quality and playability while being the cheapest among the top-rated parlour guitars that made it into this review.
To keep the price low, Ibanez uses cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to the usual guitar tonewoods, such as Sapele for the top and nyatoh for the back and sides.
The slim and sleek body design is retro-inspired, and its old school style appointments are also retro.
The neck is designed to be easy on the hands, as expected from Ibanez.
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top
- Basswood body with X-bracing
- 12th fret, 24”-scale nato set neck with synthetic bone nut
- Vintage-style 18 frets
- Walnut fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays
- Top-load walnut bridge with compensated saddle
Gretz G9500 is an excellent example of the staying power of parlour guitars, as it impresses modern players with its old-school style and tone, reminiscent of Gretsch Rex guitars of the 1930s.
Additionally, it does all this at a very reasonable price.
This beater instrument’s top, back, and sides are crafted from basswood, forming a compact parlour-style body that makes it easy to carry with you when needed.
This guitar’s neck is made of nato with a C-shaped profile, and it connects to the body at the 12th fret according to standard blues box specifications.
Concert Guitar (0)
Concert guitars have steel strings and are part of the six-string family of acoustic guitars. In contrast to classical guitars, which are strung with nylon, this guitar is steel, producing a bright, loud sound.
Depending on the length and thickness of the guitar, the Martin nomenclature for concert guitars is usually ‘0’. 00 is smaller than 000 but more than 0. (The rule is that the bigger the guitar, the more 0s it contains. A 00 is smaller than a 000 but more significant than a 0).
Grand Concert (00)
The 00 guitars (Martin Sizes) or Grand Concert guitar (Taylor Sizes) – style acoustic guitar is more significant than a concert guitar and typically more expensive. In addition, the size of these guitars makes them louder than their concert cousins.
They require less power than louder guitars to have good volume, though. So, for example, if you play softly with a Grand Concert/00, it will be louder than if you played softly with one of the large-bodied guitars. The problem is that if you try to play loudly, there is a lower volume ceiling. So you can only play so loud no matter how hard you strum.
Fingerstyle playing is the best method of playing this size guitar. Even though you can still strum and flat-pick, it’s better for the player who plays fingerstyle at least half the time.
Many Grand Concerts (00) are available as 12-fret instruments or as a standard 14-fret model.
Auditorium (000/Grand Performance)
The Auditorium (or 000) guitar is similar in size and shape to the Grand Concert but is more significant. The shape of the Grand Performance guitar fits this size category as well.
The body of these guitars is thinner, and their waists are more defined than those of dreadnoughts.
Grand Auditorium (0000/M)
The shapes of these guitars tend to be similar to those of the previous two size classes (again, shapes and sizes may vary between manufacturers).
Guitars of this type are approximately the same size (or slightly bigger) as a dreadnought in terms of lower bout width and body length but are different in shape due to the narrower waist. Dreadnoughts with a boxy shape have a wider waist and a more oversized top (soundboard) overall.
One of the best all-round sizes is the Grand Auditorium/0000. They provide a lot of sound in terms of playing loudly and are also responsive to a softer touch. Their music has a balanced tone with an equal emphasis on highs, lows, and mids. These are great for strumming, fingerpicking, and Flatpicking.
It is Taylor’s second-largest shape, in terms of lower bout width, and is slightly larger than the Grand Auditorium.
In terms of shape, dreadnoughts are the most common (though for Taylor, the Grand Auditorium is their most popular), with a large body that produces deep, strong bass notes. However, a large D in Martin’s system, a dreadnought, can be pretty loud and unsuitable for smaller people.
This type of guitar is more appropriate for players who like to flat-pick and strum rather than play fingerstyle. These guitars are perfect for playing bluegrass music.
With their high volume ceiling, you can play them hard, and they will play loud – but if you play with a soft touch, you’ll have a more challenging time getting a good sound out of them than with smaller sizes like a Grand Concert (00).
The largest guitar Taylor has ever produced. This one measures 16 3/4 inches wide at the lower bout. The guitar has a balanced sound for a large guitar, though, and the bracing ensures it still responds to light touches well. You can therefore play it like a Grand Concert and get good volume by using a light touch, or you can use more and still get plenty of volumes.
The jumbo guitar is the largest of all guitar sizes. The sound they produce is compelling, and they are perfect for players with a strong strumming style. As a result of their large size, some Jumbos have a 17″ lower bout width, and they are generally more expensive.
The shape is more concert-like with a more defined waist, but they are considerably larger.
What Size Guitar Does a Child Need?
When your child is first learning to play the guitar, you should ensure that the guitar is the appropriate size for their height. Otherwise, they may struggle more than they need to as the guitar may be too large or too small for them to hold comfortably.
Any parent with children knows that it’s difficult for them already to maintain their attention span, so making things as easy for them as possible will make it more likely they’ll stick with it.
Here are some size guides to help you choose the right guitar for your child.
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|5 – 8||80 – 100||1/2 Size|
|8 – 12||100 – 125||3/4 Size|
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|5 – 12||100 – 120||3/4 Size|
|12 – 15||120 – 165||Small Body|
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|2 – 5||75 – 100||1/4 Size|
|5 – 8||100 – 125||1/2 Size|
|8 – 12||125 – 165||3/4 Size|
What is size guitar best for a 7-year-old?
A guitar is a right choice if you’re talking about acoustic guitars. The body should be short enough and slim enough to allow them to reach the strings. Also, they should be able to manipulate the fretboard well on a guitar that size.
There is a theory that kids should be introduced to full-sized guitars as soon as possible. Similarly, it would work for electrics with significantly smaller bodies and narrower necks. On the other hand, acoustic guitars are more bulky and heavy. In addition, tiny hands and arms will have difficulty manoeuvring them.
Do 3/4 guitars sound different?
The hollow space is what gives acoustic guitars their tone and resonance.
A guitar’s smaller size means that it is much quieter than a full-sized guitar. There is just not enough air and space to achieve high volumes.
The sound of a guitar can also be a bit dampened. Due to the shorter strings and less resonant chamber, the strings have less time to vibrate along.
As a result, a good-quality guitar will sound better than a poor-quality full-sized guitar.
What size is a 3/4 guitar?
You might expect a guitar to be as big as a full-sized one, but that isn’t the case. To be honest, the sizes don’t seem to correspond to the actual size of the instruments.
A guitar that is about 7/8 the size of a full-size guitar.
It usually has a length of 36 inches and a scale length of 23 inches.
The actual difference in size between a guitar and a full-sized guitar is only about 2 inches!
Is a 38-inch guitar full size?
The average size of a full-sized guitar is 38 inches.
The average measurement is different from maker to maker because of the differences between the body style and headstock.
In order to determine if a guitar is full-size, it is best to measure its scale length.
As described above, the scale length is the distance between the nut and the saddle or between the nut and the 12th fret double. The latter is generally considered to be the most accurate measurement.
Typically, a full-size guitar has a scale length of 25 inches or more. However, if you have a guitar with a scale length of 38 inches or more, it may still be a full-sized guitar if the top to the bottom dimension meets that standard.
What are the Different Sizes of Guitars?
The size of guitars varies wildly. There are tiny guitars like guitarleles, like ukuleles but slightly bigger, or gigantic jumbo guitars. An individual’s choice is usually determined by their personal preference, body size, and skill level.
Ukuleles are the most miniature guitars available, perfect for children and those with small hands who find regular guitars a little too big. Guitarleles, in contrast to ukuleles, have six strings, as do most guitars. Thus, they combine the portability of a ukulele with the versatility of a guitar. The next type of guitar is the half-sized guitar, half the size of a standard guitar. Finally, there is also the three-quarter-sized guitar, which is a favourite among 8 to 12-year-olds.
Parlour guitars are next in size, followed by auditorium guitars, dreadnought guitars, and jumbo guitars. Finally, the sizes of electric guitars tend to be in the half-size, three-quarter-size, and full-size range.
What is the size of a full-size guitar?
There are many sizes of guitars available on the market, as you are already aware. It is mainly determined by your height and age, which determines the size of your guitar. Guitars of a smaller size are more likely to be played by children because the instrument will be more comfortable for them to play.
If you’re an adult, a full-sized guitar is the best choice. Full-size guitars measure between 36 and 40 inches in length. The measurement should be taken from the bottom of the guitar, all the way up to the highest point of the instrument.
If you’re looking to buy a full-sized guitar, keep in mind that there is no standard size. Depending on the brand of guitar, the total length will be different. You should try out different lengths of guitars in the store to see what is comfortable for you.
Choosing the right guitar shape and size will depend on various factors, including your physical characteristics and the type of music you enjoy playing.
Earlier in this post, we mentioned that most of the shapes are Martin and Taylor shapes. You can find more information on Martin’s and Taylor’s shapes by clicking on the links below.