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Is playing a jumbo guitar difficult?


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I'm considering buying a SJ-200.....how much more difficult is it to play than a dread?  I usually sit on the edge of a couch to play....and mostly fingerpick and soft strumming....does your right arm get tired because of the size...should this be a factor in choosing?  I do not amp up....just acoustic

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Whether you can handle bigger guitars really depends on your overall build, arm length, and, to an extend, technique (mostly arm and hand posture). I would argue that if you can handle a J-45, you should be good with a J-200 as well. I much prefer more compact jumbo guitars like the J-185/180, but I would never kick a J-200 off the bed's edge, either.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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33 minutes ago, Leonard McCoy said:

Whether you can handle bigger guitars really depends on your overall build, arm length, and, to an extend, technique (mostly arm and hand posture). I would argue that if you can handle a J-45, you should be good with a J-200 as well. I much prefer more compact jumbo guitars like the J-185/180, but I would never kick a J-200 off the bed's edge, either.

I'm comfortable with my two guitars...D-35 Martin and D-55 Guild...both dreads....do you think transitioning to the SJ-200 would be ok? thanks Leonard

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While I do not want to come off as an insensitive lout,  given the number of threads you have posted on this one I would say you are overthinking this whole J200 thing.  

But to answer your question a jumbo with a 17" or larger lower bout is no problem for me.   For you though who knows.  I tend to equate feel and comfort with nut width, neck carve and string spacing at the bridge.  

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58 minutes ago, lhnewman said:

I'm comfortable with my two guitars...D-35 Martin and D-55 Guild...both dreads....do you think transitioning to the SJ-200 would be ok? thanks Leonard

I have 4 Dreads and a 00 and a 000 and a J 12 stringer. All Martin. I had a Guild JF-30 and it was big. Not sure if they are as big as Gibson J-200's or SJ-200's. But I have no problem going back and forth between any of them. And I never had issues with the Guild either when I owned it. 

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4 hours ago, lhnewman said:

I'm comfortable with my two guitars...D-35 Martin and D-55 Guild...both dreads....do you think transitioning to the SJ-200 would be ok? thanks Leonard

Sure thing; size-wise you're already big ways in the big guitar category with those two. Sound-wise is a whole different horse, though, given that Gibson guitars are heavily mid-ranged focused unlike Martin.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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2 hours ago, Leonard McCoy said:

Sure thing; size-wise you're already big ways in the big guitar category with those two. Sound-wise is a whole different horse, though, given that Gibson guitars are heavily mid-ranged focused unlike Martin.

1975 D-35 Rosewood has a lot of midrange .....and lots of bass....thanks

 

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Just because a guitar is bigger. Doesnt mean its better.     I own SJ200s, for me there easy to play when set up properly. Are they comfortable to play? I guess its what your use too.       I find some J 45ish AJs  uncomfortable to play.     Shape , size, scale length, all play a factor.      
My Gibson harp guitars are huge.   They take getting use to.   19” wide bodys.  12 fret huge necks.  The tone though , is just so cool.   
 

I think you have to get out and judge for yourself. Whats good, whats not. Everyones take is going to be different  as a player.   

as a collector its easy to pick and choose. When you have a wide array to compare . 

 
 

 

Edited by slimt
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6 hours ago, lhnewman said:

I'm comfortable with my two guitars...D-35 Martin and D-55 Guild...both dreads....do you think transitioning to the SJ-200 would be ok? thanks Leonard

I think so. It's a little different. The set-up being a little off is far greater of a concern to me than SJ-200 vs dread. I'm a big boy with not big hands with some Arthritis. If any of mine is a problem on my shoulders or elbows, it's the D-41.

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I've been downsizing this past year. Started at around 50 and down to about 20. Moved a lot of very nice guitars and my only criteria was which ones do I pick up the most, which are the most comfortable and still produce a great sound . Both custom J200's are gone.  If I played standing up I would had kept them. One went to one of our forum members. The wide necks are are mostly gone. I had 3 stage deluxe style guitars. They taught me the love of 12 fret guitars which led me to the much more comfortable Nick Lucas which sounds great. I still have a few large guitars I haven't decided on like the L-5 and Super 400. I did narrow the Martins down to two, the Gibson's were more numerous and will take longer to whittle down. All depends on your preferences.

 

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54 minutes ago, Dave F said:

I've been downsizing this past year. Started at around 50 and down to about 20. Moved a lot of very nice guitars and my only criteria was which ones do I pick up the most, which are the most comfortable and still produce a great sound . Both custom J200's are gone.  If I played standing up I would had kept them. One went to one of our forum members. The wide necks are are mostly gone. I had 3 stage deluxe style guitars. They taught me the love of 12 fret guitars which led me to the much more comfortable Nick Lucas which sounds great. I still have a few large guitars I haven't decided on like the L-5 and Super 400. I did narrow the Martins down to two, the Gibson's were more numerous and will take longer to whittle down. All depends on your preferences.

 

interesting....thanks

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On 5/23/2021 at 7:42 AM, lhnewman said:

 I usually sit on the edge of a couch to play....and mostly fingerpick and soft strumming....does your right arm get tired because of the size...should this be a factor in choosing?  I do not amp up....just acoustic

Nope,  not for me any way.  I'm not a big dude either.  It rests there quite easily.  Beautiful guitars, don't let the size shy you away.

 

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I had a right shoulder injury that made almost any size guitar uncomfortable to reach over and strum.  But as long as I use a strap, sit on a stool and let the guitar hang down a little lower I can be comfortable.  If a Jumbo seems too big at first you can probably adapt your playing position to accommodate it. 

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No comfort issues with my SJ200 at all, at least not in the last few years since I’ve been playing seated. I used to play standing and developed a painful rotator cuff tendon RSI in my right shoulder from reaching over my SJ200s. 
 

Seated, though, if you can play a Dread comfortably you can play an SJ200. Just buy one...they’re one of the most iconic, classic and beautiful guitars in history. Owning one is a wonderful experience.

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13 hours ago, Jinder said:

No comfort issues with my SJ200 at all, at least not in the last few years since I’ve been playing seated. I used to play standing and developed a painful rotator cuff tendon RSI in my right shoulder from reaching over my SJ200s. 
 

Seated, though, if you can play a Dread comfortably you can play an SJ200. Just buy one...they’re one of the most iconic, classic and beautiful guitars in history. Owning one is a wonderful experience.

yea but you're like 9 feet tall ...  🙂

  • Haha 1
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I've found in playing mine that if I position my humerus along the bottom bout, and do not have it laying across the edge of the face - so that my shoulder isn't being pulled out as much and half the angle is taken up by my elbow and wrist -  it alleviates the mild shoulder pain I've developed from doing stupid things in my younger days. 

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22 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

I've found in playing mine that if I position my humerus along the bottom bout, and do not have it laying across the edge of the face - so that my shoulder isn't being pulled out as much and half the angle is taken up by my elbow and wrist -  it alleviates the mild shoulder pain I've developed from doing stupid things in my younger days. 

check out a "Neckup Strap" Forty...   I have one, and it's just the thing for playing seated with almost ANY guitar.

 

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I would say if you are comfortable with dreadnaught guitars then you'll be fine with an SJ. 

I am 6' tall, I have guitars ranging from L-00s to a J-100 and everything in between, the J-100 is very comfortable. 

They also don't sound quite like what you are probably thinking.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/23/2021 at 1:42 PM, lhnewman said:

I'm considering buying a SJ-200.....how much more difficult is it to play than a dread?  I usually sit on the edge of a couch to play....and mostly fingerpick and soft strumming....does your right arm get tired because of the size...should this be a factor in choosing?  I do not amp up....just acoustic

In my opinion there shouldn't be any problem for you to play a super jumbo size acoustic. I can play any size acoustic easy.

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Well SJ200s are played by many players including the ladies too.   If you are used to a J45 you will be good with a SJ200.   I played a J45 for years but then I was introduced to small  bodied guitars, never looked back.

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