Acoustic Guitar for Beginners: Dreadnought vs. Jumbo

When we talk about full size guitar, we often refer to the dreadnought. In fact, dreadnought is just one kind of body style of full size acoustic guitar. There are still other guitar body styles. One of them is jumbo which is often mentioned by guitarists. So what is the difference of dreadnought and jumbo? Which is better for beginners?

Dreadnought is a most common full size acoustic guitar body style. Its upper bout is 11.5’’ and low bout is 15’’. The waist is relatively broader and smaller upper bout.

Jumbo is larger than dreadnought at lower bout which is more than 16’’. The main difference between dreadnought and jumbo is the volume. The bigger body tends to make louder sound. Therefore the jumbo is good for strumming or heavy hands. Dreadnought is versatile and great for both strumming and finger-picking. Therefore dreadnought is better for beginners.

In general, the jumbo need big string gauge to get better tone. The thicker strings are hard for beginners to learn for they need more finger strength to press down to frets.

In addition, the larger body of jumbo needs a bigger hard case which sometimes is not easy to get.