Parlour guitars, small travel guitars, short-scale guitars: we’ve found you 5 of the best ones for sale right now.
Parlour guitars are a great choice for guitarists of all levels. They’re small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around, and they produce a rich, full sound that’s perfect for a variety of genres, from folk and blues to bluegrass and country.
If you’re looking for a new parlour guitar, you may be wondering which one is right for you. There are many different models and brands to choose from, so it can be tough to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best-sounding parlour guitars.
We’ve reviewed some of the most popular models on the market and picked our favourites based on sound quality, playability, and value.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect parlour guitar for your needs in this guide.
Table of Contents
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
Do you need a parlour guitar?
Parlour guitars are a great option for guitarists of all abilities and ages. Whatever type of guitar player you are, see if any of these descriptions resonate with you:
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 typically have a lower volume than, say, dreadnaught acoustic guitars. So, no more being told to Shhh!
3. Guitar players who love blues, flamenco, country and 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.
4. Guitar players with smaller hands or frames – Parlor guitars are smaller and lighter than other types of acoustic guitars, making them easier to play for kids or people with smaller frames. The shorter scale length also makes it easier to reach the frets, which can be helpful for beginners.
5. Guitar players who like variety – If you’re a guitar player who likes variety, a parlour guitar is the perfect instrument for you. Parlour guitars are known for their versatility and portability, making them ideal for playing a wide range of genres and in different settings.
5 Best Parlour Guitars Review
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 fancy a parlour guitar to play blues slide on your porch, 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
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
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
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
Summing it Up
So, there you have it! Our top five picks for the best-sounding parlour guitars.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s a parlour guitar out there that’s perfect for you.
They’re small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around, and some produce a surprisingly rich sound that’s perfect for various genres.
So get out there and try a few out to see which one you like best!