A dreadnought guitar is characterized by its size and shape. It was created by Martin in the early 1900s.
The upper and lower bouts are similar in width and the waist is less defined. The guitar has a larger body
compared to other guitars. This gives it a louder sound with balanced tones from low end to high. It is a
favored guitar with country and bluegrass musicians.
An OM is a mid-size guitar, smaller than a Dreadnought and larger than a Parlor. It has less bass and
more mid-range than a dreadnought along with less volume. The upper bout is noticeably smaller than
the lower bout and the body is thinner. It has a tighter waist than the dreadnought. The OM is great for
finger picking and light acoustic playing where you do not need the loud volume of a dreadnought.
The parlor guitar is a very small narrow-waisted instrument. The name comes from its popularity of
being played in small parlors in the late 1800s. The upper and lower bouts are quite small, being 13” or
less, and has an elongated body. The guitar has more mid-range and has an old-time sound that might
be good for folk and blues. The size makes it easy to travel with or take on camping trips.