Randy Scruggs’ Advanced Jumbo by Gibson

Randy Scruggs literally grew up with the sound of guitars and other stringed instruments in his ears day and night. His father was legendary banjo player Earl Scruggs, who performed country and bluegrass music with his partner Lester Flatt. The Scruggs’ Nashville home was the site of many jam sessions with some of the greatest country and pop musicians of the 60s and 70s including Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, Linda Ronstad, Neil Young and the Byrds. Randy watched and listened eagerly and at the young age of six, Mother Maybelle Carter taught him to play the autoharp. From there, he went on to learn several other instruments and was a guest artist on his father’s syndicated TV show, Flatt and Scruggs when he was nine. Just a few years later, at the age of 13, Randy was the featured acoustic player on a cut from a Waylon Jennings album.

He went on to have a successful career as a songwriter, producer and session musician. Scruggs received the CMA Producer of the Year Award in 1989 and 1995, and was awarded Grammys for instrumental music in 1989 and 1998.

Scruggs says he was influenced by a number of artists, and not all of them were country greats. Besides his father, Scruggs cites Muddy Waters, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and Michael Bloomfield as inspiration for his style. His most notable crossover song was probably on the Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album featuring Alison Krauss & Union Station singing “When You Say Nothing At All.” The single received a great deal of airtime on top forty and pop radio stations.

Throughout his career, Scruggs has been partial to Gibson guitars. He says he remembers Mother Maybelle Carter’s fondness for an L-5 and she taught him to aspire to nothing else. He first picked up a Gibson Advanced Jumbo so many years ago that he doesn’t remember how old he was at the time, but he has loved them ever since.

Randy Scruggs agreed to work with Gibson in creating a signature Advanced Jumbo. He brought in one of his favorite Jumbos that he had used to record with Vince Gill and Miranda Lambert, among others. The techs used precise measurements from that guitar with very few added extras to create the signature guitar. The major embellishment on the Scruggs instrument is the addition of the crown logo from his solo album Crown of Jewels.

Randy Scruggs states he is very pleased with the way the signature piece turned out. “I just love it. I think it’s amazing, both in the studio and live, in terms of performance and dynamics,” he says. “I love the way it plays, I love the sound of it, and I think it turned into just a beautiful instrument,” Randy continues. Scruggs firmly believes that a good musician must work hard to keep his talent and skills sharp and he must be open to new ideas. He hopes that using a good guitar like the signature Jumbo may help young musicians stay inspired and do the hard work necessary to hone their skills.

If you could use some inspiration when it comes to the guitar, a good instrument may help, but some top quality lessons may do just as much to keep you motivated and practicing. We can recommend several guitar courses that will help you develop your technique and create a style all your own. Whether you want to learn to play lead from Metal Method, or need a comprehensive DVD course like Learn and Master Guitar, there is a system that will work for you.