Auditorium Guitars: Size, Differences, and More

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 23, 2023

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What’s the difference between a concert and an auditorium guitar? Well, it’s not just the size. 

An auditorium guitar is a type of acoustic guitar that is named after its suitability for playing in auditoriums, concert halls, and other large venues. It is sometimes also referred to as a “concert” or “orchestra” guitar.

I’ll also share some tips on how to choose the right one for you. So, let’s get started. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

What is an auditorium guitar

The Grand Auditorium Guitar: A Versatile and Balanced Acoustic Guitar

The Grand Auditorium (GA) guitar is a type of acoustic guitar that has a unique shape and scale length. It is smaller than a dreadnought but bigger than a concert guitar. The GA is a newer version of the auditorium guitar, which was first produced in the 1920s. The GA was designed to bring a bit more presence and bass to the auditorium style, while still maintaining a balanced sound.

What are the Differences Between the GA and Other Types of Guitars?

Compared to other types of guitars, the GA has a few notable differences:

  • The GA is typically larger than a concert guitar but smaller than a dreadnought.
  • The body of the GA is rounded, which gives it a more balanced tone compared to the bigger and heavier dreadnought.
  • The GA lacks the heavy bass presence of the dreadnought but has a stronger and more focused midrange.
  • The GA is similar in style to the concert guitar but has a couple of key differences, including a longer scale length and a bigger body.

What are the Main Features of a GA Guitar?

The following are some of the main features of a GA guitar:

  • The GA guitar typically has a scale length of approximately 25.5 inches.
  • The body of the GA is rounded and produces a balanced tone.
  • The neck of the GA is typically a single piece of wood with a fingerboard and bridge made from high-quality materials.
  • GA guitars are produced by multiple companies and are available in a variety of designs and models.
  • GA guitars are commonly used in country, rock, and jazz music and are popular among solo players and those who perform on stage or in recording studios.

What Should Players Consider When Choosing a GA Guitar?

When choosing a GA guitar, players should consider the following:

  • The price range of GA guitars varies widely depending on the brand and materials used.
  • GA guitars are generally easier to handle and play compared to dreadnoughts.
  • GA guitars typically have multiple fret varieties and fingerboard designs to choose from.
  • GA guitars are versatile and can be used for a wide range of music styles and uses, depending on the tuning and quality of the guitar.
  • Players should check the tone and playability of the guitar before making a final choice.

The Grand Auditorium Guitar: A Versatile and Comfortable Choice

The GA guitar has a rounded shape that allows for a balanced and rich tone. The body of the guitar is slightly shallower than a dreadnought, which makes it more comfortable to play for extended periods. The GA guitar also has a longer scale length compared to other acoustic guitars, which allows for better string tension and a more defined bass response.

The Sound and Playability

The GA guitar has a big and full sound that lacks the booming bass of a dreadnought, but has more presence than a concert guitar. The tonal quality of the GA guitar is excellent and it is a popular choice for both beginner and advanced players. The GA guitar is also an ideal choice for fingerpicking and steel-string picking.

The Materials and Varieties

The GA guitar is available in a variety of materials and styles, including custom models. Some of the commonly used materials for GA guitars include rosewood, mahogany, and maple. The GA guitar is also available in electric and multiple series varieties.

The Price and Quality

The price of a GA guitar varies depending on the brand, materials, and workmanship. However, compared to other types of acoustic guitars, the GA guitar is a decent choice for players who are looking for a good quality instrument at a reasonable price. The GA guitar is also an excellent choice for studio work and live performances.

The Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a versatile and comfortable guitar that allows for a variety of playing techniques and music styles, then the Grand Auditorium (GA) guitar is definitely worth considering. Its balanced and rich tone, excellent playability, and multiple varieties make it a popular choice among guitar players of all levels. So, if you’re in the market for a new guitar, be sure to check out the GA guitar and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Concert vs. Auditorium Guitar: Which One Should You Choose?

The main difference between concert and auditorium guitars is their body shape and size. While both are acoustic guitars, the auditorium guitar is slightly bigger than the concert guitar. The auditorium guitar is designed to be a balanced instrument that can handle a variety of playing styles, making it a great choice for players who love to play chords and fingerstyle music. On the other hand, the concert guitar is typically a little smaller and easier to handle, making it a popular choice for players who are just starting out.

Tone and Sound Quality

Another difference between concert and auditorium guitars is their tone and sound quality. The auditorium guitar is designed to achieve a strong and balanced tone, making it ideal for recording and playing on stage. The concert guitar, on the other hand, typically has a slightly lower tone and is better suited for playing in smaller venues or for personal use.

Materials and Workmanship

When it comes to the materials and workmanship of concert and auditorium guitars, there are some differences to consider. Auditorium guitars are typically built with solid wood tops and backs, while concert guitars may use laminated wood or other materials. Additionally, auditorium guitars are usually designed with additional features like a cutaway or a plug for electric playing, while concert guitars typically have a more standard design.

Scale Length and Fingerboard

The scale length and fingerboard of concert and auditorium guitars are also different. Auditorium guitars typically have a longer scale length and a wider fingerboard, making them easier to play for players with larger hands. Concert guitars, on the other hand, have a shorter scale length and a narrower fingerboard, making them a better choice for players with smaller hands.

Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between a concert and auditorium guitar comes down to personal preference and the type of music you want to play. If you’re looking for a guitar that can handle a lot of different playing styles and has a strong, balanced tone, then an auditorium guitar might be the better choice. If you’re just starting out or looking for a guitar that’s easier to handle, then a concert guitar might be the way to go. Either way, both types of guitars are great options for players of all skill levels and music types.

What Sets Auditorium and Dreadnought Guitars Apart?

The sound and tone of the two types of guitars differ as well. Dreadnoughts are known for their powerful and opulent sound, making them a perfect choice for strumming and recording. They produce a deeper, richer tone with more lows and mids. Auditoriums, on the other hand, have a brighter and more balanced tone. They are better suited for fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing, as they allow for more delicate and nuanced playing.

Volume and Projection

Dreadnoughts are commonly referred to as “workhorse” guitars because of their ability to produce a loud and powerful sound. They are ideal for playing in larger halls or with a band. Auditoriums, while not as loud as dreadnoughts, still have excellent projection and sustain. They are perfect for solo performances or recording.

Price and Models

Dreadnoughts are typically more expensive than auditoriums due to their larger size and the amount of work that goes into making them. There are numerous models of both types of guitars available from various manufacturers, and they are often classified into categories based on their sound, tone, and body shape.

Choosing the Perfect Auditorium Guitar: What You Need to Know

When it comes to choosing the perfect auditorium guitar, it’s important to consider your playing style and techniques. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you love playing blues or rock, you may want to consider a guitar with a strong bass presence and a big, round sound. A dreadnought or jumbo guitar may be a good fit for you.
  • If you’re a solo player or prefer a more balanced sound, an auditorium guitar may be the way to go. These guitars are versatile and can achieve a wide range of tones, making them great for a variety of genres.
  • If you’re looking for convenience and ease of play, a smaller auditorium guitar may be a good choice. These guitars are comfortable to hold and play, and their smaller size makes them easy to transport.

What Are the Differences in Design and Construction?

The design and construction of an auditorium guitar can significantly impact its sound and performance. Here are some things to consider:

  • The shape of the guitar can affect its tonal balance. Auditorium guitars typically have a more rounded shape than dreadnoughts, which can help achieve a more balanced sound.
  • The neck and fretboard design can also impact playability. Look for a guitar with a comfortable neck shape and good action (the distance between the strings and the fretboard).
  • The type of wood used in construction can significantly impact the guitar’s sound. Solid wood guitars tend to have a richer, more natural sound than guitars made with laminate or other materials.
  • Some auditorium guitars come with an active pickup, which can be a great option if you plan on playing live or recording.

Which Auditorium Guitar Model Is Right for You?

There are a wide variety of auditorium guitar models available, each with its own unique features and reputation. Here are some things to consider:

  • Look for a guitar with a solid wood construction and an angled fretboard for optimal sound and playability.
  • Consider the scale length and fret count of the guitar. A longer scale length and more frets can allow for extra range and versatility.
  • Consider the reputation and craftsmanship of the guitar. A well-made guitar can last a lifetime and provide phenomenal sound and performance.
  • Try out different types of strings and picks to find the ones that match your playing style and achieve the sound you’re looking for.

When shopping for an auditorium guitar, it’s important to let your actual playing and preferences guide your decision. Take the time to try out different models and find the one that feels and sounds right for you.


So, that’s what an auditorium guitar is. 

They’re great for a variety of playing styles, from country to jazz to rock, and are perfect for both solo and ensemble playing. 

Plus, they’re a comfortable guitar to play for extended periods of time. So, don’t be afraid to try one out!

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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