All About Parlor Guitars

Welcome to Parlor.Guitars, a resource aspiring to be the leading source of information on anything and everything related parlor guitars. Here you will find interesting information about the humble parlor a.k.a. "blues box" - including the story behind its design, its history, the various brands that have produced them and the many existing small bodied guitar models available today.

We scour through the many current production models, as well as popular vintage ones, and we also bring you information about the latest releases. All of the old and new models that we feature are presented at the Guitar Listing page, where you can sort them according to brand, finish, top, body and price. If you are looking to buy a parlor guitar, or you are simply curious, we hope you will find that the information we provide to be very helpful.

Guide to the Best Guitar Slides

guitar slides

The guitar slide has been with us for a long time, and it won't be going away anytime soon. Guitarists have been using slides to add soulful expression to their playing since around the time when the small body "blues box" or parlor guitar was the norm, and it has since been used on other guitars like regular acoustics, resonators, cigar box guitars and even electric guitars ever since.

The Best Acoustic-Electric Parlor Guitars

Acoustic Electric Parlor Guitars
More and more guitarists are opting for acoustic-electric guitars because they are convenient and future proof. It removes the need to install electronics, and prevents the need for 3rd-party modifications. This same advantage applies to parlor guitars, and is the reason why they are getting the acoustic-electric treatment.

Rainsong NP12 Nylon String

Brand: 

Rainsong

Finish: 

High Gloss Urethane

Top: 

Unidirectional Carbon Fiber

Body: 

Carbon/Glass Hybrid

Price: 

$2500.00
Rainsong NP12 Nylon String Parlor Guitar

Rainsong built their reputation on quality guitars that utilize non-traditional materials, and they are the most familiar name when it comes to carbon fiber guitars.

Interestingly they have a parlor guitar with nylon strings in their line up, the NP12, a modern take on traditional 12th fret neck joint parlor guitars.

Art & Lutherie AMI Nylon

Brand: 

Art & Lutherie

Finish: 

Semi-Gloss Custom Varnish

Top: 

Solid Cedar

Body: 

Canadian Red Wild Cherry

Price: 

$400.00
Art & Lutherie AMI Nylon String Parlor Guitar

Art & Lutherie is just one of the many sub-brands under the popular guitar manufacturer Godin. It strays from the eclectic designs used by Godin, opting for a more traditional approach to building.

Since they offer vintage inspired designs, it is only natural for them to have parlor guitars in their production line, but they went beyond just traditional by offering a nylon string parlor guitar called the AMI Nylon.

Fender MC-1 3/4 Nylon

Brand: 

Fender

Finish: 

Satin

Top: 

Laminated Agathis

Body: 

Laminated Sapele

Price: 

$150.00
Fender MC-1 3/4 Classical Guitar

Thanks to Fender's attempt at gaining more ground in the entry level market, the company have come up with a cool 3/4 nylon string guitar, the Fender MC-1 which is technically a small classical guitar, but its small size makes it similar to nylon string parlor guitars.

This guitar is designed to compete with other student friendly guitars, focusing on affordability and playability. To keep the price competitive, Fender opted for cost effective wood materials, choosing laminated agathis for the top and sapele for the back and sides.

Roundup of the Best Parlor Guitars

The Best Parlor Guitars
If you are on a quest to find the best parlor guitar, check out these standouts! Here you can easily visualize and compare top-rated and crowd favorites that match your playing style, cosmetic preference and budget.

Washburn Vintage Series R314KK

Brand: 

Washburn

Finish: 

Aged

Top: 

Spruce

Body: 

Trembesi

Price: 

$499.00
Washburn Vintage Series R314KK Parlor Guitar

The Washburn R314KK is an affordable instrument that has the look and sound of century old parlor acoustics. It's small and slightly elongated body together with its vintage finish and distressed hardware make it appear smaller than it actually is, giving it a convincing classic appearance, similar to vintage parlor guitars from the 1800's to the early 1900's.

What is a Parlor Guitar?

Blind Blake with his Parlor Guitar

While there are debates as to the specific size and shape of parlor guitars, most will agree that it should be small and comfortable enough to play on your couch or your front porch. Today, the term parlor guitar covers a wide spectrum of guitar styles, from traditional western designs to eclectic one-of-a-kind boutique builds.

The word "parlor" or "parlour" refers to old reception and commerce rooms, and since these compact guitars were regularly played in these small to mid sized venues, they were labeled as such - parlor guitars. Incidentally, the bigger "concert" guitar also got its name from the venue where it was usually played in.