Taylor Body Shapes Guide: The important differences
Taylor is one of the most popular guitar brands in the world, known for its great sound, innovative pickup systems and superb playability straight out of the box. You’ll see them in the hands of players ranging from Taylor Swift to John Petrucci.
People sometimes think that if a guitar has a bigger body, it’ll be louder and whilst there is some truth within this, that’s not always the case.
Taylor offers seven body shapes that cater to different players’ styles, as players can get more out of one body shape than they will in another. When picking your Taylor guitar, you must consider how the shape lets you play. It really is quite a personal thing.
Follow our guide as we explore the seven Taylor body shapes with an outline of how they sound and what kind of player they’re designed to accommodate.
Table of Contents
- Taylor Grand Auditorium Body Shape
- Taylor Grand Concert Body Shape
- Taylor Grand Symphony Body Shape
- Taylor Dreadnought Body Shape
- Taylor Grand Orchestra Body Shape
- Taylor Grand Theatre Body Shape
- Taylor Grand Pacific Body Shape
Grand Auditorium Taylor Body Shape
The Grand Auditorium (GA) is the quintessential Taylor body shape as Bob Taylor designed the GA shape to be everything he wanted in an acoustic guitar.
If, as a player, you do a bit of everything – strumming, fingerpicking, flat-picking – this could well be the shape for you. Proportion-wise, it’s somewhere between a Grand Concert and a Dreadnought, so it’s a small-body Taylor guitar that is enough to drive the top with light fingerpicking but big enough to withstand some fairly strong strumming.
Shop Taylor 324ce – Grand Theatre models end in a 4.
Taylor Grand Auditorium guitars have a balanced and clear tone, though they’re particularly clear in the mids. They sit well in any mix – again showing their versatility.
If you want a new acoustic guitar and don’t know where to start or what kind of player you are, try a Taylor GA.
From there, you’ll know if you want something bigger or smaller or whether it’s just right. The Taylor Grand Auditorium is the one acoustic guitar that can do everything, so it’s no surprise it’s their best-selling guitar shape.
Grand Concert Taylor Body Shape
The Grand Concert (GC) is the smallest full-scale body Taylor Guitar and is well suited to fingerstyle players. The smaller top means that it requires less power from your picking hand to get volume out of it, though it does mean it’s got a lower volume limit.
For players with a light attack, a Taylor Grand Concert might be ideal as you have to put less in, physically, to get a great range of dynamics out of it. The smaller top also keeps overtones in check, meaning you get a nice, focused sound.
Shop Taylor 712ce – GC models end in a 2
The Taylor GC models also have a slightly shorter scale (24 7/8″), lending a slinkier feel due to the lighter string tension. The smaller body size and tapered waist make it an extremely comfortable guitar to sit down with and give it a certain sonic quality that sits well in a mix.
Grand Symphony Taylor Body Shape
The Taylor Grand Symphony was born from Bob listening to players’ shouts for a similar guitar to the GA, but with more volume. From the waist up, it’s the same size as a Grand Auditorium. However, the GS has a bigger lower bout, giving it a richer, more piano-like bass response and thicker treble frequencies.
The larger top also means there’s a higher volume limit, so for players with a strong attack, it will be louder. If you’re a strummer or flat picker, the GS body shape will give you plenty of volume and expression whilst remaining tonally balanced. If you want dramatic shades of quiet and loud, the Taylor Grand Symphony could be the Taylor body shape for you due to its impressive dynamic response.
Shop Taylor 326ce – GS models end in a 6
Alternatively, the GS Mini is a small-body Taylor guitar with a compact body that still delivers a big and bold tone. As a scaled-down version of the Grand Symphony Taylor body shape, the mini versions offer solid tops and various tonewood options for different acoustic tones. For those who travel or are seeking a smaller guitar for a more comfortable playing experience, the GS mini will have you covered.
The Taylor GS body shape was introduced in 2006 and has proved itself to be very popular. Solo singer-songwriters love how much space it can fill and how reactive it is to their attack. The guitars have a wonderfully balanced and rich tone, allowing those with a strong attack to get plenty of volume.
Dreadnought Taylor Body Shape
Dreadnoughts tend to be very prominent in the low and low-mid frequencies, though Bob Taylor’s dreadnought has been modernised slightly so that it’s very even across the tonal spectrum. The top is shaped so players with a heavy attack will get plenty of volume from the guitar. It’s a fantastic accompanying guitar, boasting a powerful bass response and crisp highs, allowing vocals to sit nicely. The Taylor Dreadnought is very articulate, and both chords and lead lines picked out are sure to be heard.
Shop Taylor 210ce – Dreadnought models end in a 0
The Dreadnought’s roots are in bluegrass, country, and traditional folk music, so if someone wants the classic ‘boom-chick’ style rhythm sound, this is the one to look at. If you’re a flat picker and/or strummer, after a classic sound, the Dreadnought could be the one for you.
Grand Orchestra Taylor Body Shape
Taylor’s Grand Orchestra is the biggest Taylor body shape and lends itself nicely to players who really like to attack a guitar. If you’ve got a heavy picking/strumming hand, you’ll get plenty of volume out of the Taylor GO body shape, though it’s not one-dimensional.
Contemporary fingerstyle guitarists love it, as it instantly lets them go from very quiet to very loud. For those that play with a lot of dynamics and expression, the Taylor Grand Orchestra is worth a try.
With a body size like this, you might expect a deep bass response, and you’d be right. However, it’s also very balanced and has a lush, complex tone. The Taylor Grand Orchestras are big, rich, and bold in terms of looks and sound. If you’ve tried a range of guitar shapes but are still after more, give the Grand Orchestra a go.
Grand Theatre GT Taylor Body Shape
Grand theatre Taylors have similar basic body curves to the Grand Orchestra (the largest Taylor body style) in a smaller size for easier playability. With a small body shape and slightly lesser body depth, GT guitars offer an easier and more accessible experience for various players.
The GT’s neck is also scaled down for comfort, measuring between the GS Mini and the Grand Concert. With closer fret spacing for easier hand movements, this body shape means you can practise for longer without hand fatigue. With solid wood construction, the C-Class architecture inside the guitar enhances the volume for a rich and powerful sound.
Grand Pacific Taylor Body Shape
The Grand Pacific Taylor Body shape is a round-shoulder version of the Dreadnought body shape. The Grand Pacific makes sounds that are similar to the Dreadnought but with important improvements that have been made possible by V-Class bracing.
Thanks to the changes made by master builder Andy Powers, the Grand Pacific’s body shape delivers a warm, balanced sound and clear low-end power for more musical bass frequencies. Blending the power of a bluegrass guitar with comfort for a more enjoyable playing experience, the Grand Pacific is a great all-around guitar.
Pick your favourite body shape
If you’re looking for a small-body Taylor guitar, browse Grand Concert and Grand Theatre guitars or shop Taylor’s Grand Orchestra body shape for the biggest body shape.
No matter the shape, you’ll enjoy a seamless playing experience thanks to expert craftsmanship and quality materials.
Shop our full range of Taylor guitars to add to your collection and try out a new sound, whether you’re a beginner or a long-time player.
A look at the Taylor Academy series guitars
This is a phenomenal run-down of the different body shapes. It does not, however, include their most recent body shape, the Grand Pacific. A comparison of the Grand Pacific to a traditional Dreadnought would be useful.