They’re bigger than your average guitar and have a fuller, louder sound. They’re perfect for strumming and picking, but you can also play some pretty sweet solos.
A jumbo acoustic guitar is a type of acoustic guitar that has a larger body size and shape compared to a traditional acoustic guitar. The jumbo size typically provides a louder and fuller sound with a deeper bass response than other acoustic guitars.
The jumbo acoustic guitar was first introduced by Gibson in the 1930s with its “Super Jumbo” model, which was designed to compete with the popular Martin Dreadnought model. Since then, many other guitar manufacturers have created their own jumbo acoustic guitar models.
So what is a jumbo acoustic guitar? And what makes them so special? Let’s dive into the topic a little deeper.
Jumbo Shaped Acoustic Guitars: The Big Boys of the Guitar World
Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars are known for their big, bold sound and larger than life size. These guitars are built with a larger body than traditional acoustic guitars, which gives them a unique sound and feel. Some of the main features of jumbo shaped acoustic guitars include:
- Larger body size: Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars are significantly larger than traditional acoustic guitars, which gives them a deeper, more powerful tone.
- Unique shape: Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars have a distinctive shape that sets them apart from other types of guitars. The body is wider and deeper than traditional acoustic guitars, which gives them a unique appearance.
- Balanced sound: Due to their larger size, jumbo shaped acoustic guitars produce a well-balanced sound with a strong bass and clear treble notes.
- Comfortable to play: Despite their larger size, jumbo shaped acoustic guitars are designed to be comfortable to play. The neck is slightly wider, which makes it easier to play chords and notes.
How Do Jumbo Shaped Acoustic Guitars Compare to Other Types of Guitars?
When it comes to choosing a guitar, there are a lot of different types and models to consider. Here are some of the main differences between jumbo shaped acoustic guitars and other types of guitars:
- Dreadnought vs. Jumbo: Dreadnought guitars are another popular type of acoustic guitar that are similar in size to jumbo shaped acoustic guitars. However, dreadnought guitars tend to have a tighter, more focused sound, while jumbo shaped acoustic guitars have a more open, balanced sound.
- Small vs. Jumbo: Small-bodied acoustic guitars, such as parlor and concert guitars, are significantly smaller than jumbo shaped acoustic guitars. While they may not have the same powerful sound as jumbo shaped acoustic guitars, they are often more comfortable to play and easier to transport.
- Electric vs. Acoustic: Electric guitars are a completely different type of instrument that are designed to be played with an amplifier. While they may not have the same traditional sound as acoustic guitars, they offer a lot of versatility and are great for playing a wide range of music styles.
Is a Jumbo Shaped Acoustic Guitar Worth the Investment?
Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars can be more expensive than other types of guitars, but they are definitely worth the investment if you are looking for a powerful, unique sound. Here are some reasons why:
- Big sound: Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars offer a big, bold sound that is hard to achieve with other types of guitars.
- Versatility: Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars can handle a wide range of music styles, from folk and country to rock and pop.
- Comfortable to play: Despite their larger size, jumbo shaped acoustic guitars are designed to be comfortable to play, which means you can play for longer periods without feeling fatigued.
- Iconic style: Jumbo shaped acoustic guitars have a unique, iconic style that is sure to turn heads and make a statement.
In the end, whether or not a jumbo shaped acoustic guitar is worth the investment depends on your personal preferences and playing style. If you love a big, powerful sound and want an instrument that can handle a wide range of music styles, a jumbo shaped acoustic guitar is definitely worth considering.
What Makes Jumbo Acoustic Guitars Stand Out?
Jumbo acoustic guitars are larger than typical acoustic guitars, making them the ultimate choice for players who love a big sound. The jumbo shape means that the instrument has a broader and deeper body, significantly affecting the volume and overall sound. The larger size of jumbo acoustic guitars means that they have more air inside the body, which grants them tons of energy and a lot of low-end. This size also means that jumbo acoustic guitars have a tighter and more focused sound, which is perfect for fingerpickers and gentle strummers.
Clarity and Sound: The Musical Energy of Jumbo Acoustic Guitars
Jumbo acoustic guitars have a lot of energy, which means that they produce a lot of sound. This energy also gives them a lot of clarity, making them perfect for players who want to emphasize the higher frequencies in their music. The circular shape of jumbo acoustic guitars gives them a snap that you won’t find in smaller models. This snap is perfect for rhythm guitarists who want to add some jangle to their playing. The sound of jumbo acoustic guitars is amazing for pop songs, country music, and any style that requires a lot of musical energy.
The Right Approach: Who Should Play Jumbo Acoustic Guitars?
Jumbo acoustic guitars are favoured by musicians who play in a band or a concert setting. The reason for this is that the jumbo shape emphasizes the frequencies that cut through a mix, making them less muddy and more noticeable. Jumbo acoustic guitars are also great for players who want to fingerpick or play gentle strumming patterns. The tight sound of jumbo acoustic guitars means that they don’t lose their clarity when played softly. Jumbo acoustic guitars are massively favoured by the Nashville scene, where musicians love the big sound and the real energy that they bring to the music.
The Ultimate Instrument: Jumbo Acoustic Guitars for Making Music
Jumbo acoustic guitars are the ultimate instrument for players who want a big sound and a lot of energy. The size of jumbo acoustic guitars means that they have a lot of volume and a lot of low-end. The tight sound of jumbo acoustic guitars means that they have a lot of clarity and focus. Jumbo acoustic guitars are perfect for fingerpickers and gentle strummers, and they’re amazing for pop songs, country music, and any style that requires a lot of musical energy.
Is a Jumbo Acoustic Guitar Right for You?
Jumbo acoustic guitars are not for everyone, but they do offer some unique benefits that make them a great choice for certain players and styles. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider a jumbo acoustic guitar:
- If you’re looking for a guitar that produces a powerful, rich sound, a jumbo acoustic is a great choice. The larger body size allows for a greater tonal range and volume, making it a popular choice for genres like country and bluegrass.
- If you have larger hands or find it difficult to play smaller guitars, a jumbo acoustic guitar is worth considering. The larger body and longer scale length make it easier to play for some guitarists.
- If you’re a beginner or intermediate player looking to start playing acoustic guitar, a jumbo acoustic can be a good choice. The larger size and easier playability can make it a more forgiving instrument to learn on.
When to Stick with a Standard Acoustic Guitar
While jumbo acoustic guitars are a great choice for many players, they’re not always the best option. Here are some reasons why you might want to stick with a standard acoustic guitar:
- If you prefer a smaller guitar that’s easier to play and transport, a jumbo acoustic may not be the best choice. They can be quite large and heavy, making them more difficult to carry around.
- If you’re looking for a guitar that’s versatile and can be used for a wide range of styles and genres, a standard acoustic guitar may be a better choice. While jumbo acoustics are great for certain genres, they may not be as well-suited for others.
- If you’re on a budget, a standard acoustic guitar may be a more affordable option. Jumbo acoustics can be more expensive due to their larger size and construction.
How to Decide Between a Jumbo and Standard Acoustic Guitar
If you’re still not sure whether a jumbo or standard acoustic guitar is the right choice for you, here are some factors to consider:
- Playing style and genre: If you’re primarily interested in playing country or bluegrass music, a jumbo acoustic guitar may be the best choice. If you’re interested in other genres, a standard acoustic guitar may be more versatile.
- Body size and weight: Consider whether you’re comfortable playing a larger, heavier guitar or if you prefer something smaller and more lightweight.
- Tone and sound: Listen to examples of both jumbo and standard acoustic guitars to get a sense of the differences in tone and sound. Decide which one you prefer based on your personal taste.
- Budget: Consider how much you’re willing to spend on a guitar. Jumbo acoustics can be more expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, a standard acoustic guitar may be a better choice.
Ultimately, the decision between a jumbo and standard acoustic guitar comes down to personal preference and playing style. Both types of guitars have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to try out different models and see which one feels and sounds the best to you.
Who’s Rocking the Jumbo Acoustic?
Despite the fact that jumbo acoustic guitars are not as widely used as dreadnoughts or other guitar shapes, they are still a popular choice for many guitarists. Here are some famous guitarists who play jumbo acoustics:
- Elvis Presley: The King of Rock and Roll played a jumbo acoustic guitar during his famous ’68 Comeback Special.
- Bob Dylan: The legendary singer-songwriter has been known to play a jumbo acoustic guitar on occasion.
- Neil Young: The Canadian musician is often seen playing a jumbo acoustic guitar, particularly his signature model from Martin.
- John Mayer: The Grammy-winning artist has been known to play a jumbo acoustic guitar during his live performances.
Why Players Choose Jumbo Acoustics
Jumbo acoustic guitars are a great choice for players who want a powerful, big sound. Here are some reasons why players choose jumbo acoustics:
- Rich, balanced sound: Jumbo acoustics are known for their rich, balanced sound, thanks to their larger body size.
- Extra volume: The larger body size of jumbo acoustics makes them louder than smaller guitars, making them a great choice for playing in larger venues or with a band.
- Unique design: Jumbo acoustics have a unique design that sets them apart from other guitar shapes. Many players love the look of a jumbo acoustic guitar and the statement it makes on stage.
- Great for strumming: Jumbo acoustics are great for strumming due to their larger body size and strong bass response.
Available Brands and Models
There are numerous brands and models of jumbo acoustic guitars available, including:
- Gibson J-200: This famous model has been played by numerous guitarists over the generations and is often referred to as the “King of the Flat Tops.”
- Martin D-28: This model is a standard in the world of acoustic guitars and has been produced in numerous versions over the years.
- Taylor 618e: This model is a newer addition to the Taylor series and is a great choice for players who want a jumbo acoustic with a little extra energy and clarity.
- Guild F-55: This model is a rare piece that is highly sought after by collectors and players alike.
Direct vs. Pickup
Jumbo acoustics are available in both direct and pickup versions, depending on the player’s needs. Here are some differences between the two:
- Direct: Direct jumbo acoustics are designed to be played without amplification and are great for players who want a natural, unamplified sound.
- Pickup: Jumbo acoustics with pickups are designed to be played with amplification and are a great choice for players who want to play in larger venues or with a band.
Choosing the Right Jumbo Acoustic
When choosing a jumbo acoustic guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Body shape: Jumbo acoustics come in different shapes, including square-shouldered and round-shouldered. Choose the shape that feels most comfortable to you.
- Wood: Jumbo acoustics are often made with solid wood, including rosewood, ash, and red spruce. Pay attention to the wood used in the guitar’s construction, as it can significantly impact the guitar’s sound.
- Scale length: Jumbo acoustics typically have a longer scale length than smaller guitars, making them a little harder to play. If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider a smaller guitar with a shorter scale length.
- Thickness: The thickness of the sides of a jumbo acoustic guitar varies depending on the model and manufacturer. Some players prefer a thinner body for easier playing, while others prefer a thicker body for a more pronounced sound.
Dreadnought vs Jumbo Acoustic Guitar: What’s the Difference?
One of the most significant differences between dreadnought and jumbo acoustic guitars is their body shape and size. While both guitars are large, jumbo guitars are even bigger than dreadnoughts. Jumbo guitars have a wider body and a slightly rounded shape, which gives them a more balanced feel and a warmer, fuller tone. Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, have a tighter, more traditional shape that produces a tighter, brighter sound.
The tonal differences between dreadnought and jumbo acoustic guitars are also significant. Jumbo guitars are known for their excellent bass response and overall warmth, making them perfect for playing chords and strumming. Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are better suited for solo playing and producing a more energetic sound.
Manufacture and Wood
The way these guitars are built and the type of wood used can also influence their sound. Jumbo guitars are often made with a super tight top and back, which produces a warmer, more versatile sound. Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are built with a slightly tighter top and back, which produces a brighter, more traditional sound. The wood used in the manufacture of these guitars also plays a significant role in their sound. Jumbo guitars are often made with rosewood or mahogany, while dreadnoughts are often made with spruce or cedar.
Playing Style and Genre
The playing style and genre of music you prefer can also influence your choice between dreadnought and jumbo acoustic guitars. Jumbo guitars are perfect for playing chords and strumming, making them ideal for folk, country, and blues music. Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are better suited for solo playing and producing a more energetic sound, making them perfect for rock, pop, and jazz music.
So, that’s what a jumbo acoustic guitar is – a larger-than-normal guitar with a deeper sound and a distinctive shape. You can use one for playing both pop and country music, and they’re worth the investment because of the great sound and iconic style. So, go ahead and get yourself a jumbo acoustic guitar – you won’t regret it!
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.
Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:Subscribe