If you’re looking to start out on guitar or potentially purchase one as a gift for a loved one, it might be useful to know the most popular body types. While sheer aesthetics drive much of the appeal of certain guitar styles, they do have their own quirks as far as feel as well. Depending on the player, one body type may be more comfortable than another. In many cases, guitarists tend to fall in love with one particular style to the point that they rarely stray from it. With that said, here are some of the leading options:
1 – Dreadnought
There’s no denying that the dreadnought acoustic guitar shape is perhaps the most commonly played throughout the entire world. This is the style most frequent among “first guitars”, and the leading choice for acoustic performers in general. Some may prefer the cutaway version with greater access to the upper frets, but the traditional symmetrical build is essentially the “gold standard.”
2 – Stratocaster
When making the leap into the world of electric guitars, the stratocaster style is the first that many players latch onto. Made famous by guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and a host of others, the sporty shape first invented by Fender lends itself well to a host of genres ranging from hard rock to blues and everything in between. In fact, this shape is so popular that virtually every modern guitar company has their own version.
3 – Les Paul
The Gibson Les Paul runs neck and neck alongside the Fender strat when it comes to the most popular guitar body types. Though notably heavier, the overall chunkier body and standard humbucker pickup arrangements help give the Les Paul a fuller sound that many other guitar manufacturers have fallen over themselves trying to recreate for years. Les Pauls have been especially popular among rock guitarists; some of the most notable players include Slash, Ace Frehley, and Peter Frampton.
4 – Flying V
Easily one of the most striking guitars in the game, Flying Vs also have more than earned their place in the hall of fame of guitar body shapes. Wildly popular models are available from a number of manufacturers, including Gibson, Jackson, ESP, and Dean (just to name a few). The only downside to the Flying V style is that it’s made primarily for standing up; playing while you sit down with a V isn’t quite as natural as with other standard guitar styles. That said, the “cool factor” of the overall aesthetic more than makes up for it!
While those four are undeniably the cream of the crop when it comes to the most popular guitar body types, there are several others worthy of note. The Gibson SG and Fender Telecaster have been just as influential, with a number of imitators of their own. No matter which you choose however, the great thing about guitars is that the differences of each one leads to different overall tones and feels. Just go to a guitar shop and see which one looks the best and feels the best to play. You’ll know the right choice as soon as its in your hands!