Are Dreadnought Guitars Good for Finger Picking?

Fingerpicking is one of the simple yet most popular playings. The body of your guitar has a significant impact on how you will play it. Dreadnought guitars are a preferred choice when it comes to fingerpicking. But many of you might wonder, are dreadnought guitars good for finger picking?

Yes, dreadnought guitars are good for fingerpicking. They have a wide surface area which provides decent space for your fingers to move. Also, dread or fingerstyle is one of the convenient options.

Dread style is not for everyone. I will discuss all its aspects to help you decide whether it is for you or not.


What Do You Mean By a Dreadnought Guitar?

Dreadnought guitars may be a new term for many readers. Before getting into the debate of whether dreadnought guitars are a good idea for you or not, let me explain what they are.

The dreadnought guitar is one of the oldest used instruments in the genre of music.

Dreadnought guitar first came to use in the early 1900s and gained popularity like hotcakes because of its easy-to-use design and intense tone.

How Dreadnought Guitar is Different from Ordinary Acoustic Guitar?

You can easily distinguish a dreadnought guitar from an ordinary acoustic guitar because of its vast size and comprehensive tones. Its infrastructure gives its rhythm a sense of richness and fullness.

You can easily distinguish between an ordinary guitar and a dreadnought guitar by its size, which is more extensive than any regular guitar. And its waist is unspecified as compared to the other acoustic guitars, which have a defined and thinner waist.

The body of the dreadnought guitar is equally proportionate, which means both the upper and lower part have an identical area. A big trunk separates both portions.

Differences Between Traditional and Dreadnought Guitar:

  • Other traditional guitars come in various revisions and modified models. The dreadnought guitar has undergone a few updates only since the time.

You will find two or three different models of the dreadnought guitar in the market today.

  • The dreadnought is a big guitar known for its rich tone and volume which traditional guitars lack.
  • The style of playing an acoustic guitar is also different from the traditional guitar that you can play in any environment. Dreadnought requires proper settings.

Now let me move on to the insights and working of dreadnought guitar.

Why Are Dreadnought Guitars Good for Fingerpicking?

Professionals regard dreadnought guitars are often recommendable due to multiple factors such as their rich volume, their size, and broad area, which allows ease and space while moving the fingers. Here I will discuss some features in detail:


The top quality of a dreadnought guitar that makes it stand out from the other instruments is its size. A dreadnought guitar provides a vast area to move your hand while playing the instrument. Significant space results in fewer errors while string picking.

When you look at the concert acoustic guitar, space for the fingers is shallow. It makes it uncomfortable for the guitarist to move the fingers and elevates the chances of picking the wrong string. It can disturb the entire tone as a whole.

Its broadness is not just limited to comfort, but the broad infrastructure adds an essence of richness to the volume. It makes the tone chasmic and impactful.


There are different guitar play patterns which include plucking, strumming, and fingerpicking.

You will often notice that the fingerpicking technique is fainter, and if played in a group of multiple guitar styles, it may go to the background. But dreadnought guitar provides you with comparatively loud volume, which makes your fingerpicking style stand out in the presence of variation.

So keeping in view its rich tone and louder volume, it is an ideal instrument for live concerts and group performances.

It can go well with vocals and other instruments such as drums and other concert guitars.


Another top and foremost benefit of a dreadnought guitar is its vivid tone. The signature tone that the guitar gives off brings melodrama to the listeners. If I talk about the string style, fingerpicking remains the most complete yet most complex style.

You can achieve the maximum with the dreadnought guitar.

The guitar not only gives out a fuller tone, but its volume ensures maximum impact on the audience.


Sustain refers to the total time in which a tone vibrates and is audible by the audience. Sustain plays a very crucial role in defining the fate of audio.

Coming to the dreadnought guitar, it has an outstanding sustain. Which perfectly creates the overtones for a more natural and organic feel.

Sustain is an essential element in any note. You can use this feature to avoid roughness in the music.

For the fingerpicking style, if you know how to maintain sustenance and how to pick the string without destroying the element, you can create a very connected and smooth tone. Let me add here this type of note stands out and has a powerful impression on the audience.

How Sustain is related to Dreadnought Guitar?

Dreadnought guitar has a large size and broad waist. These factors make them an ideal instrument to achieve sustained efficiency.

Sustain of the guitar is directly proportional to the smoothness and flow of the music. If you are able to add a significant amount of sustain, your music will go smoothly.

An incredible factor of sustain in audio is that it can make some of the minor flaws go unnoticed.

So if you want good sustain with higher volumes, the dreadnought is a must-try instrument.


Let me write here the concept of projection before moving to its relationship with the dreadnought guitar. The distance at which you can hear an instrument clearly is called projection. This is an essential factor of any gadget that you should pay attention to before buying it.

Dreadnought guitar stands at an extraordinary level when it comes to projection. It provides its users with a wide-ranging angle of projection.

You can hear a dreadnought guitar clearly and distinguish between every note, even from a distance. This factor makes dreadnought a suitable choice for concerts and open spaces. The projection factor sometimes goes missing with many guitars.

Variance in Price Range:

Unlike the concert or other acoustic guitars, which come under a narrow price range, dreadnought guitars come with a broad price range. Features of the guitar at all levels remain unchanged. The difference may be in the composition material slightly. Else you will experience the same tone, resonance, and volume for all the prices range.

Cons of Using a Dreadnought for Fingerpicking:

Along with immense benefits, you may also encounter some difficulties while playing the instrument. These are the factors you should pay attention to whether you can manage.


Dreadnought guitar has a large size which may become inconvenient sometimes. Especially for people with a small height or small hands, this is not an ideal instrument to play. Carrying the gadget may become uncomfortable, and this can oppositely affect your output. Your position is another factor that you must consider before choosing the guitar.

Proper Settings:

If I compare a dreadnought guitar to an ordinary acoustic guitar, the acoustic guitar seems like a preferable option in terms of comfort.

The small body size and deeper curves at the waist make the acoustic guitar easy to hold and play in any position. Let it be sitting or standing.

Handling a dreadnought guitar may become challenging for the newbies and the people with shorter hand spans. So for them, I will recommend concert guitar.

If you feel you can easily tackle the barrier of comfort and convenience, I will encourage you to choose a dreadnought guitar. It will add a new vibe to your music that you and your audience will enjoy to the fullest.

Blunt Errors:

As I mentioned earlier, the dreadnought guitar has a rich volume, and fingerpicking is itself a complex technique that utilizes your abilities, focus, and a lot of practice all at the same time.

If you make an error, it will be more noticeable in a dreadnought guitar due to its louder volume, and as every note of a dreadnought guitar can be differentiated from the other impact on the audience will be higher.

So I will advise you not to experiment with the dreadnought guitar or any fingerpicking technique without a lot of hands-on practice.

Extra Bass:

Extra bass is the problem that a copious part of dreadnought guitar users often complain about when playing the guitar. Many of them elaborate on it as a roaring output. You have to be very careful about picking the string. It is a pressure game.

A slightest higher pressure than necessary can bring a wave of unwanted bass to your audio that neither you will like nor your audience.

Delicacy and Sensitivity:

Let me clear this point here dreadnought guitars do not require amplifiers to produce a high-pitched sound. They are capable enough to do so.

Fingerpicking is usually supposed to give you lighter notes which may be difficult to achieve with dreadnought guitars due to their delicacy and sensitivity.

So if you think you can play with pressure and positions, you should give dreadnought guitar a try.

Is finger picking on guitar hard?

Fingerpicking is one of the complex techniques you can use to play the guitar. It requires a lot of hands-on practice, focus, and skills at a time. On the other hand, strumming and other thumb techniques require minimal effort. But this is also a fact that fingerpicking stands out.

What is the difference between fingerstyle and fingerpicking?

The two words may distract you as if it is the same thing. They are two different guitar-playing techniques.

Fingerstyle is a blend of strumming and fingerpicking. You can use your thumb and fingers simultaneously to perform the move. At the same time, fingerpicking refers to the use of fingers only. You can not use your thumb in this technique.

Can you fingerpick on an acoustic guitar?

Yes, you can use fingerpicking on an acoustic concert guitar. But let me mention here that fingerpicking is a challenging technique, it requires your wrist to be still and only your fingers to move. The acoustic guitar serves a very narrow area for the movements, which makes the acoustic guitar an unpreferable option for fingerpicking.


Dreadnought guitar is known for its large size, rich volume, and high bass. Some guitar-playing techniques come to your mind when you talk about the dreadnought guitars, and fingerpicking is one of them. Fingerpicking and fingerstyle are considered complex guitar-playing techniques as they require focus, skills, and great practice all at the same time.

Dreadnought guitar provides you with the advantage of a considerable space in which you can comfortably move your fingers while playing the guitar.

Other factors include the high volume and rich tone that will be a new experience for you and your audience. But before showing your art to the audience, make sure to practice a lot and make yourself comfortable with your guitar.

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