What Is A Dreadnought Guitar?


If you are a newbie in the guitar field, one of the common questions you will ask is "what is a dreadnought guitar" because of its popularity in the guitar family. 

And many times, when you come across the dreadnought term, it must have sparked your interest to know more.

"Dreads" as dreadnought guitar is popularly called is named because of its shape and size, and that’s what makes it different from other acoustic guitar types.

Its body is large with the upper and lower sides of the same width, unlike other acoustics.

The dreadnought is so popular that it’s the first that comes in mind whenever acoustic guitars are discussed.

It is commonly used in many genres of music.

Because of the large body of a dreadnought guitar, the sound it produces is loud and bold with a boomy tone due to the large soundboard at the top.

The large soundboards allow the guitar to give off a lot of resonances for an increased volume.

Dreadnought guitars are sometimes difficult to play, but interestingly, beginners go for this guitar type than any other acoustic guitar.

Once the first stage of difficulty is passed, you are well on your way to becoming hooked to this guitar.

You should, however, know that because the waist of the dread is not fully round, it is inconvenient to play while sitting and sometimes difficult for younger players to wrap their arms around the large lower section.

Dreadnoughts also have a thinner neck when compared to the other acoustic guitars, which makes it much easier for its player to pick chords and flat and is convenient for players with small hands, although not very suitable for a finger-style player except he finds a dreadnought with a wider neck.

Talking about price, dreadnoughts are quite budget-friendly, although the prices may vary at the market depending, if you are concerned about the volume of your guitar, your best bet is the dreadnought guitar.

The dreadnought guitar is loud and a perfect type to play in a band; better for strumming and very sturdy in its design.

The dreadnought guitar is mostly used for playing genres of music like blues, country, rock, and sometimes bluegrass.

The loud sound of the dreadnought guitar is so dominant (for a guitar that size) that it can compete with an electric band even without connecting to an amplifier.

It also produces sharp mid and lows that blend together to form massive chords.

As pointed earlier, the curves produced from a dreadnought guitar are quite delicate yet make up a complete, bold, and deep tone, making it impeccable for strumming and finger-play.

In terms of body style, the dreadnought guitar is almost 20 inches long (body length) and has a lower bout size of about 15.6 inches while the upper bout width measures around 11.5 inches.

The body itself is approximately 4.8 inches deep. It is easy to identify a dread guitar with its square-like shoulders and base and a moderately narrow upper bout.

It is safe to say that the dreadnought guitar is larger and broader than the other acoustic guitar types you can find in the market.

Pros & Cons

In simple highlights, here are a few pros and cons of the dreadnought guitar even though most have already been pointed out in the main article:


  • Deeper and richer tone than other acoustic guitars
  • Gives more resonance
  • More volume even without amplifiers
  • Perfect for strumming and finger-play
  • High-quality projections
  • Budget-friendly, available at a different price range


  • Difficult to wrap arms around when held by smaller people
  • Heavy strings
  • A bit difficult for fingerstyle can give obvious crushing bass when finger-played
  • Difficult to play when sitting

Types Of Dreadnought Guitar 


In conclusion, a dreadnought guitar is perfect for beginners and pros alike, depending on your style and preference.

When next you wonder or are asked what a dreadnought guitar is, I hope you found enough information to describe what a dreadnought is and how you can recommend it to a newbie or bandmate.

Gerald Garrison

I'M Gerald Garriso i was born in San Salvador, El Salvador on December 20, 1975, grew up with his parents and since childhood I was instructed in the Christian faith, began playing guitar at the age of 16, is an empirical musician who has been concerned for learning more about his instrument by various means including some music academies throughout my learning. I participated in several musical groups since my inception, currently belongs to the praise ministry (as a pianist) of the Conquistadores Christian Ministry church where I congregates and also forms part of the leadership working with evangelistic cells together with My wife Krissia with whom eternal love was promised In November 2007. I am an Architect by profession, graduated from the José Simeón Cañas Central American University in the 2005 promotion of the Faculty of Architecture and Engineering. Being his main work activity architecture, he currently Blogs at bestguitarunder.com

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