Where would we be without the Dreadnought? Believe it or not, 2016 marks the...

by The Acoustic Centre March 30, 2016

Where would we be without the Dreadnought? Believe it or not, 2016 marks the 100th year of production of this legendary guitar. Invented by CF Martin & Co, the dreadnought body shape is named after the HMS Dreadnought - the largest battleship ever built at the time.

Among the great variety of instruments that Martin build, it’s safe to say that none has enjoyed more popularity than their line of Dreadnoughts or D–size guitars. Currently regarded as the standard acoustic guitar, the Dreadnought once was viewed in less favorable light primarily because it was so large in comparison to other guitars of the day.

The deep bass response of a D–28 was unusual to musicians used to the clear treble and overall balance of smaller "standard" sized instruments. However, when the Dreadnought body made its way into the hands of country music performers, it found an appreciative audience – it was just the item for backing up vocals, fiddles, and banjos in lieu of a bass instrument.

A look through Mike Longworth’s book, Martin Guitars: A History, shows that the Dreadnought’s gain in popularity has been steady since its introduction. Today the Dreadnought is ubiquitous, found in every style of acoustic music, and accounts for approximately 80 percent of Martin’s yearly production.




The Acoustic Centre
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