General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

What does dreadnought guitar mean?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) March 5th, 2012

How does it compare to other guitars?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

It’s a style of acoustic body made popular by Martin. I have a low end one. I like it for what I do which is mostly bluegrass.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

This is a larger bodied acoustic guitar with a fuller sound where both the bass and treble notes are louder and more resonant than standard size guitars. It originated with C.F. Martin guitars but I have a I high end Guild from 1972 that is a dreadnought. I love it!

xnightflowerx's avatar

I got to see one of these played live in a quaint little living room acoustic show last week. These guitars have a great full, loud sound. Really leaves an impact after hearing a lot of standard acoustic guitars.

Also dreadnought is such an awesome word!

ScurvyChamp's avatar

A dreadnought guitar has wider hips compared to its shoulders, like this:
http://www.encyclopedie-enligne.com/Images/1/150px-guitare_folk.jpg

It tends to have a powerful lower end. It tends to be more expensive to get a well made dreadnought, because the lower end can be too boomy.

An alternative is the folk bodied guitar, which has more rounded shoulders and hips and is less broad: http://musicianscentre.com/images/P/126426423653139.png

These not only give a more powerful midrange to high notes but are also easier to fit your arm round if you are petite.

If the guitar has a CE in the name, that means it’s got a cutaway—that’s where the body dips near the fretboard to let you get finger higher up the neck.

I hope this is helpful!

Rarebear's avatar

@ScurvyChamp “It tends to be more expensive to get a well made dreadnought, because the lower end can be too boomy.”

That’s exactly right. Mine is a Dreadnaught DM which is lowest end, but it’s older, I got it for a really good price used at a vendor booth during a bluegrass festival, and has mellowed with time so it sounds better. But if you compare it to my band mate’s D-28, it’s night and day. Also, I really have no talent with the guitar (my primary instrument is banjo, a Gibson RB-3) so I can’t justify getting a D-28. Allow me to rephrase: My wife would kill me.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

The term “dreadnought” comes from a reference to warships (specifically the sailing type) which were so large and well armed that they would fear nothing (thus they would dread nought).

My no-name 12-string has a body that seems to be styled after the D-28. It was given to me by a fellow busker many many years ago.

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