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An Introduction To Taylor Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes

With so many great acoustic guitar choices out there, we thought we’d keep it simple. The Taylor line is made up of five distinctive guitar body shape and styles. Here is a quick reference guide to our shapes.

A guitar’s body dimensions are important for two key reasons: 1) They help shape its voice; 2) The resulting “fit” in relation to your body will impact how physically comfortable it is to play.

Taylor’s five body styles range from the compact Grand Concert to the big and shapely Grand Orchestra. As you compare different body styles, pay attention to how each guitar’s overall size, curves and body depth fell against your body and with your picking arm draped over the lower bout.

In general, a smaller guitar body yields a more controlled voice, often with a bit more upper-end chime, while a bigger body produces a louder voice, often with more low-end depth. But don’t be too quick to rule out a body style before playing it. Because of the way a guitar is voiced internally, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the tonal depth and volume of a smaller body or the responsiveness of a bigger one.

We’ve highlighted some general personality traits associated with each body style, along with a few compatible playing applications. These aren’t meant to be definitive, but they should give you a helpful reference point for comparison.

Related: 10 Questions To Help You Find Your Guitar Player Profile

Small Acoustic Guitar Body Shape

Grand Concert (GC)

(Models end in a 2: e.g. 812)

Body Length: 19-1/2” Body Width: 15” Body Depth: 4-3/8”

Our smallest full-size body shape yields controlled overtones, so the sound won’t occupy a lot of sonic space. This is often a key consideration when other instruments are in the mix, such as a performance or recording environment, and it allows the guitar to be heard more clearly. The Grand Concert is also the featured body style for our 12-fret guitars.

Playing Profile:
• Articulate voice with top-end chime and controlled
• Intimate size is lap/couch-friendly
• 24-7/8-inch scale length reduces string tension for a slinkier feel
• Fits well in a mix with other instruments

Good Fit For:
• Fingerstyle players and light strummers
• Players who find small bodies more physically comfortable
• People with small hands, and others looking to reduce stress on their fretting hand
• Recording applications

Medium Acoustic Guitar Body Shape

Grand Auditorium (GA)

(Models end in 4: e.g. 814)

Body Length: 20” Body Width: 16” Body Depth: 4-5/8”

A Taylor original, the Grand Auditorium helped establish the Taylor acoustic sound. The popular body style makes for a versatile guitar that yields ample volume in response to light fingerpicking, and reacts to medium strumming and flatpicking with a clear, balanced sound across the tonal spectrum.
If you want a great all-purpose guitar, the GA is an excellent choice.

Playing Profile:
• Taylor’s most popular and versatile body shape
• Balanced blend of warmth, clarity and sustain
• Well-defined midrange
• Responds well to many music styles

Good Fit For:
• Generalists who want a multipurpose guitar
• Recording and live performance
• Singer-songwriters and musicians fronting a band
• Almost anyone other than aggressive pickers/strummers

Related: Guitar Shape Spotlight: The Grand Auditorium

Medium Acoustic Guitar Body Shape

Grand Symphony (GS)

(Models end in a 6: e.g. 816)

Body Length: 20” Body Width: 16-1/4” Body Depth: 4-5/8”

Compared to the Grand Auditorium, the Grand Symphony has a bigger, rounder lower bout and a slightly wider “waist” area, and the bigger soundboard means more tonal output. Expect a meaty lower midrange and strong treble shimmer. Try a GS if you want a guitar with a robust low end, strong volume when strumming or flatpicking, and clear articulation in response to a light fingerpicking attack.

Playing Profile:
• Slightly bigger than the GA with more tonal output
• Very dynamic: rich, powerful voice that also responds to a light touch
• Piano-like bass, meaty midrange, strong treble shimmer

Good Fit For:
• Dynamic strummers and pickers
• People who crave more tonal horsepower than the Grand Auditorium
• Gigging singer-songwriters looking for a deep and rich tonal palette

Medium Acoustic Guitar Body Shape

Dreadnought (DN)

(Models end in a 0: e.g. 810)

Body Length: 20” Body Width: 16” Body Depth: 4-5/8”

The Dreadnought is one of the most traditional acoustic guitar shapes. Our version has been refined to blend its trademark robust low-end tone with a snappy midrange and brilliant treble notes, producing a pleasing balance of power and articulation. If you’re a flatpicker or strummer who likes to dig in on lead or rhythm, the Dreadnought should serve you well.

Playing Profile:
• Taylor’s refined take on a traditional shape and sound
• Wider waist causes the body to sit higher in the player’s lap
• A robust “modern vintage” voice
• Low-end power, snappy mids

Good Fit For:
• Traditional flatpickers and strummers with a strong attack
• People who crave the traditional look and feel of a wider-waist guitar
• Pickers and strummers who want a strong low end and throaty midrange

Related: A Guide To Taylor Acoustic Guitar Model Numbers

Large Acoustic Guitar Body Shape

Grand Orchestra (GO)

(Models end in an 8: e.g. 818)

Body Length: 20-5/8” Body Width: 16-3/4” Body Depth: 5”

The Grand Orchestra unleashes Taylor’s boldest, richest voice. With a slightly bigger footprint and a deeper body than the Grand Symphony, it yields a stronger low-end response. Proprietary bracing helps produce louder, more complex tone with impressive sustain and balance. Unlike other big-bodied guitars, which often require an aggressive attack to drive the top, the GO is responsive to a light touch. Try the GO if you crave a guitar with power and rich detail.

Playing Profile:
• Our biggest, deepest body shape
• Our richest, most complex voice
• Incredibly balanced for a big-bodied acoustic guitar
• Specially braced to also respond to a light touch

Good Fit For:
• Players who want the richest, most powerful acoustic voice
• Players who like a voluptuous, Jumbo-size guitar
• Solo performers looking for an expansive palette of sonic colors and textures

For a complete overview of the five Taylor body styles visit our Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes page.

Featured photo: The Music Zoo

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