5 Best Sounding Parlour Guitars You Need in Your Life (Perfect for Your Travels!)

Gear & Tech Reviews

5 Best Sounding Parlour Guitars You Need in Your Life (Perfect for Your Travels!)

Parlour guitars, small travel guitars, short-scale guitars: we've found you 5 of the best ones for sale right now

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What is a parlour guitar?

Parlour guitars (also spelt parlor) - aka mini or travel guitars - are a small-bodied, short scale length type of acoustic guitar popularised in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Perfect travel guitars because of their small size; some parlour guitars produce a surprisingly warm punchy sound thanks to the internal bracing.

You'll sometimes hear a parlour guitar referred to as a ¾ length guitar. The name "three-quarter length guitar" is a generic term for any small short-scale (22-24”) guitar, which has fewer frets than a larger standard acoustic guitar. 

Other names for parlour guitars

  • Travel guitar
  • ¾ length scale guitar
  • ½ sized guitar
  • Piccolo acoustic guitar
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Who are parlour guitars perfect for?

1. Guitar players on the go - Parlour guitars make perfect travel guitars thanks to their smaller body size and shorter scale length. Are you going camping, to a party, or staying in a hotel? A parlour guitar is just what you need.

2. Guitar players looking for a quieter guitar - If you're not a hermit living in a cave, you likely live with others. Parlour guitars have a lower volume than, say, dreadnaught acoustics. So, no more being told to Shhh!

3. Guitar players who are singer-songwriters - From John Mayer to Ed Sheeran, parlour guitars are favoured by many performers for their sound and size. If it's good enough for them...

4. Guitar players lovin' blues, flamenco, country, folk - If you like to play a mixture of fingerpicking and strumming songs in these genres, the characteristic sound and responsiveness of a parlour guitar will help you get lost in the music.

The Dependable One

Fender CP-60S

The Cool Looking One

The Best Parlour Guitars

best parlour guitar for travel_Fender CP-60s

If you want a cheap parlour guitar from a quality brand, Fenders CP-60S is a top contender. Despite the modest price tag, there's a surprisingly lovely tone from this guy.

If you have small hands, you'll find the neck on the CP60s easy to move around. With that said, if you're a beginner or you just fancy a parlour guitar to play blues slide on your porch with, give the CP-60S a go.

  • Spruce top
  • Mahogany body
  • Rosewood fretboard and mahogany neck
  • Length: 24.75"
  • Frets: 20

You can't get much cooler looking than the Jim Dandy Flat Top parlour guitar. What's more, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, despite its addictive sound and 1920's chic looks. 

The Jim Dandy guitar is fun to play both fingerpicking and strumming on but really comes into its own when you play some Delta Blues style guitar licks. The perfect travel or stay-at-home companion, you won't be able to put down the Dandy.

  • Agathis top
  • Agathis body
  • Rosewood fretboard and nato neck
  • Length: 24"
  • Frets: 18 
best parlour small guitar for travel_Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar

The makers of this short scale, small body electro-acoustic guitar say it has optimised bracing for "superior resonance". We wouldn't argue with them; this little guy sounds great.

If you like a choice of colours rather than the norm and want to have the option to be able to record or perform with your parlour guitar, check out the popular Fender Malibu right now.

  • Solid spruce top
  • Mahogany body
  • Walnut fingerboard & mahogany neck
  • Length: 24.1"
  • Frets: 20 
  • Fishman Preamp and tuner
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 kids small hands holiday vacationBest Beginner Acoustic Guitar Tanglewood TW2T Travel Acoustic Guitar

The ¾ length Tanglewood TW2T is a parlour guitar with a retro sound. Perfect for on the go practice, this is another small guitar that packs more punch than you'd expect.

You guessed you won't get the full, rounded tone of a standard acoustic, but the TW2T is Ideal for travelling beginners, kids and any guitar player looking to add to their axe collection.

  • Mahogany top 
  • Mahogany body
  • Techwood fretboard & mahogany neck
  • Length: 35"
  • Frets: 19
Parlour Travel Guitar Best Traveler Guitar 6 String Pro-Series

If you're after a small travel guitar that doesn't feel like a toy, the Traveler Guitar 6 fits the bill. This neat guitar has the full 24 frets despite its ¾" scale, with many users singing praise for its impressive quality and action.

If you travel and stay over in hotels, the Traveler is ideal with it being both portable, light and not too loud when played unplugged. And if we're honest - its looks are a real head-turner too.

  • Maple top 
  • Maple body
  • Walnut fretboard & maple neck
  • Length: 28"
  • Frets: 24
  • Piezo pickup 

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