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The Parlour

Parlour guitar is a term given to small-bodied steel string guitars in the style of late 19th and early 20th century American instruments. They usually have wide fingerboards, 12 frets to the body and slotted headstocks and tend to be good for fingerpicking rather than strumming. 

I make parlour guitars to Martin 00  and 0 body sizes/shape. This is probably slightly larger than what is traditionally thought of as a parlour size but I find the term well describes the features. These guitars have a real piano-like quality, with high string-to-string definition and are surprisingly loud for their size. There are 12 frets to the body and the fingerboard can be flat or radiused. I normally use a nut width of 48mm (1 7/8"), giving plenty of room for the fingers, but this can be varied to suit individual taste.  

Other body sizes and scale lengths are available. I have experimented with a scale length of 645mm rather than 632mm, which is the traditional standard for this size of guitar. The longer scale which is more typical of 000 and dreadnought guitars gives more punch and projection to the instrument.  The shorter scale will tend to give a sweeter sound.

This model lends itself to an all-mahogany option with mahogany top, back, sides and neck, which makes a great instrument for ragtime/blues/fingerpicking.

Click on the photos to enlarge
0 size
Scale length 632mm or 645mm
Width at nut to suit player
Width of lower bout 368mm
Body length 497mm
Max. side depth 105mm
Finished in French polish or oil
Waverley machineheads or similar
Supplied with Hiscox case

Scale length and neck dimensions can be altered to suit individual taste.