David Hodge

Since joining Guitar Noise in 1999, David has written over a thousand articles, lessons, interviews and reviews here. He also serves as the site's Managing Editor, supervising all content in addition to the continued writing of his own lessons and articles. And if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, David is also the author of seven instructional books, the most recent being Idiot’s Guide: Guitar Theory.

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  1. Phil
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Thank you at last some easy to understand and useful information. I am just off to the shop (literally) and now armed with some useful information.

    Thank you

  2. David Hodge
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

    Hi Phil

    Thanks for writing and I’m glad this article was helpful to you. Best of luck with your shopping and let us know how things turn out. Looking forward to hearing about your new guitar!


  3. Betsy
    March 7th, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

    I was glad to get this information about the different guitars. I saw some used guitars in a pawn shop and they looked like they were in good shape and they started at $50.00 up to $160.00. I have always wanted to play guitar and I did buy one yrs ago at a garage sale and had to have some of the strings put on with a new crown (I think that is what it is called). the strings broke and it is sitting in my basement. I am not sure if it is worth fixing it or should I invest in a new/used guitar?

  4. Thang
    June 1st, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    Thank you, David. Very useful for me, I am a begginer and going to get a guitar. The dreadnought looks like a fat lady to me, I don’t really like the shape but very curious about why people keep making a lot of it. Now, I think it makes sense.

  5. Josh
    February 4th, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    I bought a full size Yamaha Eterna classical guitar for $10.00 at a garage sale a few years ago. The guitar is in good shape, but I was wondering if I could convert it into a bass. Since it is a cheap guitar I was thinking of modifying the nut and bridge and fitting the guitar with nylon bass strings. Is this a feat that can be rendered without damaging the guitar?


  6. michael
    February 16th, 2013 @ 12:10 am

    Thank you David for taking the time to write this up. Even though I have been playing over 20 years I still get confused between all the shapes and sizes especially between mini-jumbo, dreadnought, and jumbo. Personally, I can definitely say that when I finally got something other than a dreadnought I noticed a very big improvement in comfort while playing as well as being able to keep my strumming hand centered over the sound hole. I’ve tried many different brand guitars from Taylors, Gibsons, etc. Last year I bought my first mini-jumbo. It is an LTD AC10e guitar for like 250 bucks. Its by far the most comfortable I’ve had as well as being a great sounding guitar. Plus it has jumbo frets which I definitely like. I found this Web site when searching for the difference between mini-jumbo and dreadnought because I was wanting to buy a hard shell case for my LTD since they don’t come with a case. But from the information I have found in this tutorial, and other sites I was able to discern that a mini-jumbo acoustic will fit fine in a dreadnought case. So thanks again.

  7. Neil
    July 11th, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    All very good comments, except for the one about trying in a shop before buying on the net. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if everyone did this there would quickly be no shops to try them in. Buy online, sure, but the lower price means you take the risk of not liking it.

  8. michaelW
    April 30th, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

    Thank You! You did a very great job of breaking down the different style acoustic guitars and providing other relevant information. I know I definitely benefited from it.

  9. Hilary
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

    thank you! this article was a lot of help.

  10. Vlad
    September 10th, 2014 @ 4:38 am

    Thanks a lot!Really helpful article.

  11. abbie
    September 30th, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

    Hi I am so glad I found this site, I am having all sorts of trouble choosing a suitable guitar, I had a standard off the self dreadnought brought for me for a gift but it was just too big. I am not trying to find something that is suitable…. would you suggest a OM size ( 7/8) I am only 5″2 I love the sound of the dreadnought but it was just so hard to reach everything, I am a total beginner and would love to just play for pleasure but do want to strum more then pick the stings.. thanks so much

  12. bibi
    October 17th, 2014 @ 11:29 am


    Thank you so much for this writeup. This is the easiest one I find so far

    I have bought my first guitar which us a dreadnought but I find my arms aching for days. I also find certain chords and strumming difficult when in certain positions. If I buy a classical guitar will I still get the rich ‘acoustic’ sound? Also, what brand of folk guutar would you recommend?



  13. Kim
    January 27th, 2015 @ 6:25 pm

    Thank you very much for this. Very useful, particularly for a woman. Wished they had told me this when I bought my acoustic guitar more than 15 years ago.

  14. Gene
    March 30th, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

    I’ve always thought of “parlor” guitars as smaller guitars, smaller than dreadnought, even smaller than classical guitars. I bought a girlfriend a classical guitar because she wanted to learn. I knew the nylon strings would be easier on her fingers and she wouldn’t need an amp. But she was a petite thing with small hands and classicals usually have a wider neck. I now wish I’d bought her a “parlor” guitar because I’ve seen some pretty small versions out there that are incredibly fun to play. If you’re a beginner, and in this case a woman, find a guitar buddy and go to a reputable USED dealer. I’ve discovered some excellent guitars in used stores, often with a far greater selection to choose from. Used dealers usually don’t have agreements with specific manufacturers, so the possibilities can be endless. I agree with this article about comfort. Even if you don’t know how to play yet, pick up ever guitar you see and hold it. Find one that fits your build and make sure your guitar buddy checks it out, makes sure it’s worth the money. You can and will buy other guitars later one, but for starters – find something comfortable. Then you will be more likely to play it. Don’t worry about spending thousands of dollars. Not in the beginning. If you master your entry level git-fiddle, then you’ve got the rest of your life to acquire your masterpiece guitar.

  15. sharon coulter
    June 12th, 2015 @ 4:38 pm

    VERY helpful. Thanks. I began playing 4 months ago and my right shoulder/arm has been hurting me from playing because it feels so difficult to reach the strings properly. I realized the guitar is too big. It’s not that I’m doing something wrong.

  16. Aislinn C
    July 8th, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    Thank you for writing this!! I’ve recently taken some guitar lessons and am now looking into buying my own guitar. This article has been very helpful… Thanks!

  17. Brian
    September 9th, 2015 @ 10:41 am

    This was very helpful, thanks. Exactly what I needed to know.

  18. adi
    November 17th, 2015 @ 8:28 am

    Thanks a lot…its very usefull. Love you!!!

  19. JP
    January 9th, 2016 @ 9:21 pm

    Buy online if you wish ( I have) but suggesting using brick and mortar stores as a place to try before you have any intentions of buying from them is offensive. It costs money to operate a brick and mortar store and it is simply unfair to take advantage of them like that. Online retailers can sell cheaper but ask yourself why. If the majority of shoppers only try at their local store and then don’t support them and buy online, soon their will be no more local stores. Then you will be forced to buy online before trying it and guess what – then the online places will be free to raise their prices with no local competition.

    • Jerald Angell
      December 13th, 2016 @ 11:33 am

      Absolutely! Brick and mortar music shops are well aware of the online competition and, at least in our area, have frequent sales and try to keep their prices pretty competitive at all times. Also, the big advantage: once most of these shops have sold you a guitar they are pretty generous with advice and happy to answer questions any time you wander in (within reason of course). I buy a lot of stuff online but am presently looking at a guitar at my local music shop because those folks have provided me with a wealth of free info and advice over the years. I am more than willing to pay them a bit more money for that service.

  20. Karla
    February 4th, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    Hi! I really wanted to thank you for this article. I just started playing the guitar and it was like you read my mind. I’m a gir with short arms and I recently bought a dreadnought guitar and it just feels so uncomfortable! I’m a short person and the guitar is just to big. Do you have any models in particular that don’t break the Budger but are good for beginners? Thank you so much! God bless .

  21. Karla
    February 4th, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

    girl* budget*

  22. Tom
    June 18th, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    Thanks for this information. It’s really helpful. I thought it was confusing when I look at guitars. Now I know why. I need a smaller guitar. If it’s not comfortable I won’t play.


  23. Jimmy
    June 30th, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    Hi David. I was having Breakfast this morning at my local “Route 66” diner viewing once again the 50’s style artwork on their walls of Elvis & Johnny Cash with their Guitars. I realized that I could not seem to call to mind the Style of those Guitars. I remembered; “Performer”, which I Prefer and those have what I call an “Hour Glass Figure”, and so I just Googled the question, & i found “Guitar Noise” website with Your writings and photos. “Dreadnought!” Thanks thats it, those are the styles they were holding, which have a Longer body look. I have some of those also. AND I noticed that you said You are a LEFTY! And So Am I ! Yay! Its as difficult to find other LEFTY Guitarists as it is to find a LEFTY GUITAR! And as a Lefty, Im sure you know what I mean. However, after 6 years of searching for more Lefty Guitar, I found REVERB (dot) com, where there are Used LEFTY Guitars Galore! Types that I can Not seem to find “On The Shelf” any otherplace. Check it out if you havent already. Hope to correspond with you in near future & beyond. Thanks Adieu

  24. Bhinok
    July 4th, 2016 @ 10:26 am

    Hi thanks for this article…. I have a dreadnought and standard small guitar… And at first i dont know about the different shapes of a guitar and its purpose… Now i know.. I intend to keep both my guitar… I love the sound of the dreadnought since i am more of a strumming style guitar player.. And use the smaller size if i have to travel and i need a guitar

  25. Sophia
    September 22nd, 2016 @ 9:01 am

    Great article, thanks so much. I have learnt a few things.

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