Parlor guitar

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Parlor guitars in 19th century:
Washburn Parlor Guitar (1894)
Washburn "New Model" (1896) Washburn Parlor Guitar (1894) and "New Model" (1896), Museum of Making Music.jpg
Parlor guitars in 19th century:
  • Washburn Parlor Guitar (1894)
  • Washburn "New Model" (1896)

Parlor or parlour guitar usually refers to a type of acoustic guitar smaller than a Size No.0 Concert Guitar by C. F. Martin & Company. Mottola's Cyclopedic Dictionary of Lutherie Terms describes the term as referring to "any guitar that is narrower than current standards." [1]



The popularity of these guitars peaked from the late 19th century until the 1950s. Many blues and folk musicians have used smaller-bodied guitars, which were often more affordable, mass production models.

Parlor guitar has also come to denote a style of American guitar music from the 19th and early 20th centuries.[ citation needed ] Noted composers include William Foden, Winslow Hayden, William Bateman, Justin Holland, and Wilhelm Bischoff. The music for the guitar includes a variety of dance forms (waltz, schottische, polka), instrumental arrangements of popular songs, guitar arrangements of then popular classical music, operatic arrangements and music from European guitar composers (Sor, Giuliani, Carcassi, Coste and Mertz).

Historical guitars smaller than Size No.0

In the 2000s, the parlor guitar began enjoying a renaissance among players "who like their midrangery tone, historic vibe, and easy portability". [2] Modern luthiers are making parlor guitars in a wide variety of tonewoods. Takamine Guitars produces one made of cedar and koa, with a preamp powered by a 12AU7, the first acoustic guitar with a tube preamp. [2] Fylde Guitars produces the 'Single Malt Ariel' constructed from used whisky casks.

Modern parlor & mini guitars

See also

Related Research Articles

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Classical guitar member of the guitar family used in classical music

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Guitar Fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing the strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.


A fret is a space between two fretbars on the neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the full width of the neck. On most modern western fretted instruments, frets are the spaces between the metal strips (fretbars) that are inserted into the fingerboard. On some historical instruments and non-European instruments, frets are made of pieces of string tied around the neck.

Acoustic bass guitar Type of acoustic instrument

The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden body similar to, though usually larger than a steel-string acoustic guitar. Like the traditional electric bass guitar and the double bass, the acoustic bass guitar commonly has four strings, which are normally tuned E-A-D-G, an octave below the lowest four strings of the 6-string guitar, which is the same tuning pitch as an electric bass guitar.

Electric violin

An electric violin is a violin equipped with an electronic output of its sound. The term most properly refers to an instrument intentionally made to be electrified with built-in pickups, usually with a solid body. It can also refer to a violin fitted with an electric pickup of some type, although "amplified violin" or "electro-acoustic violin" are more accurate in that case.

A luthier is a craftsperson who builds and repairs string instruments that have a neck and a sound box. The word "luthier" is originally French and comes from the French word for lute. The term was originally used for makers of lutes, but it came to be used already in French for makers of most bowed and plucked stringed instruments such as members of the violin family and guitars. Luthiers, however, do not make harps or pianos; these require different skills and construction methods because their strings are secured to a frame.

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Pickup (music technology)

A pickup is a transducer that captures or senses mechanical vibrations produced by musical instruments, particularly stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, and converts these to an electrical signal that is amplified using an instrument amplifier to produce musical sounds through a loudspeaker in a speaker enclosure. The signal from a pickup can also be recorded directly.

Multi-scale fingerboard

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Takamine (guitar manufacturer)

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Acoustic guitar

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Bridge (instrument) Part of a stringed instrument

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Guitar bracing refers to the system of wooden struts which internally support and reinforce the soundboard and back of acoustic guitars.

Travel guitar

Travel guitars are small guitars with a full or nearly full scale-length. In contrast, a reduced scale-length is typical for guitars intended for children, which have scale-lengths of one-quarter, one-half, and three-quarter.


  1. Mottola, R.M. (1 January 2020). Mottola's Cyclopedic Dictionary of Lutherie Terms. p. 118. ISBN   978-1-7341256-0-3.
  2. 1 2 Prown, Max (April 2012). "Parlor Acoustic...With Tubes: The Takamine TF87_PT New Yorker". Vintage Guitar . p. 136.
    • "Claire's Guitar". press release. C.F. Martin & Co., Inc. Archived from the original on 2015-08-20. ... Claire’s Guitar [released circa 2005] is the fanciest Size 5 [guitar which] C. F. Martin has produced in more than 80 years, ...CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)