Parlor Guitar Sizes: Compact and Portable Guitar Guide 2024

Differences Between Parlor Guitar vs. Regular Guitar Comparison

Appreciated in folk and blues for the balanced tones. Parlor guitars like the Zager Solid African Mahogany model offer exceptional sound quality and ergonomic playability, making them a top choice among musicians.

The historical turn in the acoustic guitar story began with the introduction of the Parlor guitar in the late 1800s. The charming peanut-shaped guitar was once referred to as a piece in a room where monks hold discussions.

The parlor guitar's exclusive narrow body and shorter scale length compared to the modern standard give it a significant and unique position in America. Legendary folk musicians like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Blind Blake perhaps loved the Parlor guitar more.

Comparison of parlor guitars

The modern parlor guitar takes some inspiration from the traditional Parlor guitar to craft its dimensions.

The expected length of a standard guitar size is 25.4, so the parlor guitar has a lower dimension than that. The length of a parlor guitar measures between 18 and 20 inches, and the lower bout width ranges from 13 to 15 inches

The waist of the Parlor guitar can vary from 7 to 9 inches, and its scale length is typically between 24 and 25 inches.

From Zager to Taylor: What Analysis Says About The Parlor Guitar?

Note: All the sizes mentioned above might have slight changes. So, it’s always recommended to verify before purchasing.

Feature comparison of parlor guitars

Sound Projection and Tone

Parlor guitars deliver a more concentrated and steady sound for perfect blues and folk music. Their tone highlights mid-range frequencies to stabilize the auditory experience.

In contrast, regular guitars pump extensive bass frequency and robust sound due to their larger body. This is the perfect force for strumming in rock, country, and bluegrass music genres.

Body Size and Shape

Denny Zager has expertly crafted the parlor guitar for guitarists who appreciate smaller instruments. Parlor guitars are distinctly more compact than their regular counterparts. With a narrower waist and lower bout, they induce relief during longer playing sessions.

Portability and Comfort

The lightweight and firm characteristics of parlor guitars make them phenomenally practical, granting musicians the freedom to play in their natural habitat. Don VanHandel said it was much easier to fret the strings because they were far apart.

Inversely, regular guitars are bulky and heavy, posing difficulties for guitarists.

Neck Width and Scale Length

Parlor guitars generally feature a narrower neck, which assists players with shorter hand spans. The scale length is 24 to 25 inches, encouraging an open-playing feel.

Regular guitars cannot do this because of the larger scale and wide neck, which provide a more aggressive playing form.


The parlor guitar earned exceptional popularity around the 19th and early 20th centuries because of its intimate ambient sound. Blues and folk musicians appreciated it. Parlor guitars are handpicked for their pristine tone.
Britney Shully mentioned how amazed she was by the mellow and soothing sound of the guitar. 

In the 20th, the regular guitar became famous because of its versatile sound projection across various musical genres.

Basic Uses

Parlor guitar outshines the fingerstyle playing and the smooth strumming. The blues and folk music admire treasure the design because of how perfectly it fits the genres. The regular guitar has a fuller volume, which compliments the bluegrass and rock more.

Spotlight: Zager’s Parlor Guitar

38-inch Parlor Size Solid African Mahogany Acoustic
Zager guitar

The Zager’s parlor guitar (the Solid African Mahogany) has been at the top of the first choice list.


  • Body Size: Parlor

  • Back and Sides Wood: Solid Mahogany

  • Waist: 9.75 inches

  • Scale: 23.5 inches

  • Height: 38 inches

  • Most comprehensive bout: 14.75 inches

  • Box length: 19 inches

  • Finish: High gloss

The Zager Parlor guitar is modeled with sold mahogany on its back and sides. Indicating a more warm and rich tone. The sound quality is more precise and balanced for the folk and blues.

Meticulousness in craftsmanship is the byword for Zager guitars. Hand-scalloped X-bracing intensifies the guitar's overall looks while giving off the astounding sound projection. 

Moreover, the high gloss gives it a mirror-like look and provides the wood with resistance against environmental factors.

Zager Parlor guitars have a 24.9-inch scale length for ease of play, which is particularly beneficial for musicians with smaller hands. The ebony fingerboard promotes playability and contributes unparalleled playing stability.

The Zager Parlor guitar is the musicians' first choice because of its lightweight design. Its portability is quite a reason to be on the favorite list without compromising the quality.

The brand focuses on high-quality Parlor guitars that use first-rate materials, extraordinary craftsmanship, and top-tier design.

What Artists Consider As The Best Parlor Guitars?

  • Martin 0-18: Classic in tone and fine in build.

  • Taylor GS Mini: Compact, versatile travel guitar.

  • Guild P-240 Memoir: Vintage-inspired design with a big tone.

  • Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy: Cheap, retro, and fun to play.

  • Fender CP-60S: Comfortable neck, warm, and balanced tone.

  • Eastman PCH1-OM: Great quality, materials, and playability for an entry price.

Considerable Standard Size For A Guitar

The standard size for a guitar is either the dreadnought size or the concert size. For a standard dreadnought guitar, the body length is about 20 inches, the lower bout width is about 15-16 inches, and the scale length is approximately 25.5 inches.

Do musicians Consider Parlor Guitar Full-size?

A parlor guitar is smaller in dimensions compared to standard full-sized guitars like dreadnoughts. This is why it’s more comfy and portable for most players.

With its historical significance in the 1800s, the parlor guitar represents unique charm and a compact design that impressed musicians like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Smaller in size, it typically measures 18 to 20 inches with a narrower waist.

Differences Between Parlor Guitar vs. Regular Guitar Comparison

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