|Dreadnought Guitar dread·nought gui·tar noun \ˈdred-ˌnȯt gə-ˈtär\
01:42In the early 1900s C.F. Martin & Company introduced their largest guitar body style, the "dreadnought." Originally intended as a specialty item, it has grown to become the most popular acoustic body size, with its loud, deep tone.
The term "dreadnought" was chosen by Martin, inspired by The British Battleship H.M.S. Dreadnought ... an apt name for its largest guitar.
The dreadnought guitar offers volume, clarity and projection, acoustic qualities that have made it a mainstay in bluegrass and acoustic folk music. The dreadnought guitar has become one of the core instruments found in those musical genres, among others.
Martin's dreadnought design is certainly the most copied of all steel string guitar designs, and nearly all other guitar companies make dreadnought models based on Martin's design. All Martin dreadnought model designations are identified by the letter "D," as in "D-18," "D12-20," or "HD-28." Because these model numbers have become so ubiquitous within the fretted instrument communities, even Martin's model designations are frequently copied or mimicked by other makers for their own dreadnought-based models.
The dreadnought body is easily recognized with its "square-ish" shape and lack of a pronounced waist. The dreadnought body generally has a width of 16 inches and a maximum depth of about 5 inches.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: While sometimes spelled "dreadnaught" with an "a," Martin's own literature clearly indicates (despite a few early marketing material typos) the appropriate spelling to be "dreadnought" with an "o."]
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LAST UPDATED 04-27-2016 06:45