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Charles Shifflett Acoustic Guitars

- Parlour Guitars -

(more photos of smaller guitars will be posted one of these days)

Many people refer to all small body guitars, usually with 12 frets to the body/neck join, as "Parlour Guitars". Perhaps this refers to that simpler era when guitar bodies were smaller than today, and were played in the parlour for and with friends and family. Steel string guitarists of that era most often strummed simple chords to accompany the singers. Very few players played melody and the 12 frets clear of the body provided plenty of room for the folk music of the day. A market for a larger body was found in the thirties and forties, but since almost anyone who needs more volume amplifies today, the need for the large body is no longer as apparent. And, as many players have become more discriminating, they have caused a great resurgence in the demand, production and sales of smaller body guitars, where the tone is more balanced. Of course these smaller guitars also fit the body and hands of many people much better than the "dreadnoughts" & "jumbos". The decreasing cost and increasing quality in pick-ups for acoustic guitars has even further reduced the need for large guitars.

Small bodied Jazz Guitar-standard scale length (640mm)

This little rocket has a very considerable voice even with the extra light strings that she was designed for. Maccassar Ebony back & sides, with Brazilian Tulipwood wedges & binding. Top is Engleman Spruce.

I sold this one at the Healdsburg Guitar festival in Calif. a while back. I was one of the luthiers chosen to display at the the festival and since this great little guitar went to live in Phoenix, I even had gas money to make the 30 hour drive home. :-)

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email: cshifflett@melmusic.com
last update last update Sept. 15, 2005