What is the Best Guitar for Strumming?

Published Categorized as Buying Guides, Guitar selection

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The best guitar for strumming isn’t one particular guitar or even guitar brand.

The best guitars for strumming are those that have a particular shape, size and construction.

The tone-woods used can also affect was is perceived as a good strummer – though this is often different depending on the ear.

Sound beauty is definitely in the ear of the beholder!

What Is The Best Guitar For Strumming?

Table of Contents

The Best Acoustic Guitar Shapes for Strumming

Typically speaking larger bodied guitars are better for strumming. There are always exceptions but this is typically the case.

One of the reasons for this is that larger bodied guitars have a higher volume ceiling. What this means is that you can play them with plenty of oomph and they will get louder the harder you play – but the top won’t distort.

On a smaller bodied guitar it doesn’t take as much effort to get the top to distort and start sounding bad.

Typically, when we strum, it produces quite a bit of volume – or you’ll at least want to raise the volume at times in your strumming. A larger bodied guitar will have a cleaner, better sound when you do give it some extra effort.

What are some particular shapes that are good for strumming?

Shapes like the following will typically be good for strumming:

  • Dreadnoughts
  • Jumbos
  • Grand Symphony (Taylor)
  • Grand Orchestra (Taylor)
  • 0000/M (Martin)

The Grand Auditorium (Taylor), Grand Performance (Martin) are also good for strumming but maybe not as good as those in the list above – but they are good all-rounders in that they are still good strummers but are also good at playing fingerstyle.

Shapes that aren’t So Good

Typically, smaller bodied guitars aren’t as good for strumming as larger bodied guitars.

They have a lower volume ceiling.

But you can still strum on them, they just won’t be as good for it as the others, so you’ll want one of the other shape types if strumming is the thing that you do the most.

Shapes such as the following won’t be the best strummers:

  • Parlor
  • 0
  • 00
  • Grand Concert
  • Mini
  • ¾ size guitars
  • Travel guitars

Tonewoods

O.k., let’s look at tone-woods briefly.

Mostly this really does depend on your own tastes as to which tone-wood sounds better for strumming but there’s one distinction that I want to make regarding different types of spruce.

If you are an aggressive strummer, then Sitka spruce is likely (all else being equal) to be a better choice than Engelmann spruce. Engelmann spruce is good for those with a light touch but if you play with a heavy touch or like to get some big strums out – then Sitka spruce will likely be the better option for that (between the Spruces). Learn more about the difference between Sitka and Engelmann Spruce.

Final Thoughts

Check out Best Acoustic Guitar for Strumming to see a discussion about this very topic. Also, it has some recommendations for particular guitars.

Thanks for reading and I hope this post has given you some idea of what type of guitar is best for strumming.

Keep in mind that it depends on how you like to play. If you want a guitar that’s good for strumming but you also want that same guitar to also be good at finger-style, then a mid-size guitar – like a Grand Auditorium/Grand Performance/000 might be the best choice. Learn more about choosing the right guitar for you.

FAQs

Which guitar is better for strumming?


The choice between a steel-string and a classical (nylon-string) guitar for strumming depends on your musical preference and playing style. Steel-string guitars are often preferred for strumming in genres like folk, rock, and pop due to their bright and projecting sound. Classical guitars, with nylon strings, offer a warmer and mellower tone, making them suitable for classical, flamenco, and some fingerstyle strumming. The “better” option depends on the sound you want and the music you intend to play.

What size acoustic guitar is best for strumming?

For strumming, many guitarists prefer medium-sized acoustic guitars like dreadnoughts or grand auditoriums. These sizes offer a balanced tone with good projection and a comfortable body shape for strumming. However, the “best” size ultimately depends on your personal preference and playing style. Trying out different sizes to see which one feels most comfortable and suits your strumming technique is recommended before making a decision.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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