A Look At The Taylor Academy Series Guitars

A Taylor Academy 10 on the left and Academy 12 on the right
Academy 10 (left) and Academy 12 (right)

What is the Academy Series?

The Academy series is one of the entry levels into Taylor guitars and is heavily focused on being comfortable to play while sounding great at a price that hopefully doesn’t break the bank. They come with a short scale length (24-⅞”), a slightly narrower nut width (1-11/16”) and a super comfortable armrest. The Taylor Academy series is available in two different body sizes; the smallest body size is the Grand Concert (Academy 12) and the larger Dreadnought (Academy 10).

Taylor also offers the Academy 12 as a Nylon-string model.

Taylor Academy 12 Nylon String model
Taylor Academy 12n Nylon String

How is the Academy series focused on playability and comfort?

To achieve its easy playability, the Academy series have a slightly shorter scale length (24-⅞”), which is the distance between the bridge saddle at the bottom of the guitar to the nut at the top of the fretboard. By having a shorter scale length, there is less tension on the strings, making them easier to press down and more forgiving on the fingers.


The second major nod from Taylor towards playability and comfort is the carved armrest. Sometimes – especially as a beginner or while you’re getting used to playing acoustic guitar – the edge of the body can dig into your arms and be uncomfortable. This armrest makes practice sessions a walk in the park.

The carved armrest on a Taylor Academy 10
Carved armrest on a Taylor Academy 10

Who is the Academy Series designed for?

The Academy series is designed for beginners looking for a great quality guitar that will allow them to develop as players over many years. These guitars are also suitable for more experienced players looking for a more affordable Taylor guitar.

What’s the difference between the Academy 10 and the Academy 12?

The difference between the Academy 10 and 12 is the body shape. The 10 is a larger and more traditional acoustic guitar body shape called a Dreadnought, whereas the 12 is a smaller and more compact body shape called the Grand Concert.

Taylor Academy 10 Dreadnought body shape
Taylor Academy 10

This means a few different things. First off is the size. If you are more comfortable with a larger body shape, then the Academy 10 is more likely to be the one for you, and conversely, if you favour a smaller body shape, then the Academy 12 is more likely to be for you.

Taylor Academy 12 Grand Concert body shape
Taylor Academy 12

On top of the feel, these body shapes also better suit different play styles. So if you play with a light right-hand attack (think fingerstyle or with a soft pick), the Academy 12 will give you a more full-sounding guitar. In contrast, if you play with a heavy right-hand attack (hard strumming with a heavy pick), then you’ll be able to get a fuller sound at a higher volume with the Academy 10.

Where are Taylor Academy guitars made?

The Taylor Academy guitars are made in their Tecate factory in Mexico.

Can I plug a Taylor Academy guitar into an amp?

The Academy 10, Academy 12 and Academy 12-n are available as electro-acoustic guitars (Academy 10e, Academy 12e and Academy 12e-N). These are ready to go straight into an amplifier or interface for gigs, practice or recording.

Preamp and controls on the Academy Series Electro Acoustics

Preamp and controls used on the Academy electro-acoustic models.

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