The term “parlor guitar” generally refers to a smaller-bodied guitar meant for playing in more intimate settings rather than big concert halls. But don’t be fooled–these guitars produce an amazing amount of sound even though they are smaller than dreadnoughts or grand auditorium guitars.
The parlor guitar that I make is based on a Martin, Style 1 guitar dating from 1918, but with a normal length neck
(25″ scale) and either a slotted headstock (like the Martin 1) or a solid one. The neck joins the body at the 12th fret and the ebony bridge is a traditional “pyramid” style bridge. The instrument is built lightly and responds well to finger-style playing but can also be strummed with a pick. It is great for folk music and for blues or jazz.
This is a sample of music played by Peter Swenson on a Parlor guitar:
Moonlight in Vermont