“It fits like a glove” Shawn Mendes on what makes his signature Martin guitar a truly unique instrument
The superstar singer-songwriter became Martin Guitar’s latest signature model with the 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes – here’s why it’s not like other Martin acoustic guitars…
Shawn Mendes with his signature Martin guitar, the 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes. Image: Miranda McDonald
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In just 10 short years Shawn Mendes has risen from a teenage social media sensation to one of the most popular recording artists in the world, and he’s charted this meteoric rise with a Martin guitar in his hands.
- READ MORE: Martin 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes review: a strong entry into the signature acoustic guitar market
It was fitting then that in 2022 Martin Guitar partnered with Mendes to release a signature guitar for the Stitches and Señorita singer – an instrument that reflected his deep love of a very special Martin guitar that has been the engine driving his biggest hits, while also reflecting his personality as an artist, the causes that he’s passionate about, and his close relationship with his fans.
The result is the 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes – a scaled down version of Martin’s iconic 000 body style, with various appointments and flourishes designed to appeal to his most dedicated fans, sustainable timbers and materials used throughout, and perhaps most importantly of all benefiting a cause close to his heart.
“I’ve been a fan of Martin guitars for as long as I can remember,” Mendes tells us. “So having the opportunity to start working with such an iconic and respected brand, and to be able to play and help design my own guitar is truly special.”
Read on to find out more about what makes the Martin 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes such a unique and special guitar in the company’s long and prestigious history.
It’s inspired by a special guitar
Shawn’s signature guitar is inspired by one of his most treasured possessions – a 1959 Martin 000 that he picked up from Guitar Center in Hollywood shortly before he began recording his debut album Handwritten in 2015.
“I just stumbled across it in the shop and fell in love,” he says of the guitar. “It was my first vintage acoustic. Actually, [OneRepublic frontman] Ryan Tedder had one in his studio. He told me where to go to find a vintage one, and since then, it’s been my favourite guitar.”
It’s scaled down to fit like a glove
One of the most striking things about the 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes is the size of it – while it retains the shape of a standard 000, the body itself is actually a ‘Junior’ version, which is scaled down to make it easier for younger fans and those with smaller frames to get to grips with it and using it to craft their own songs. “I think the size of it feels perfect,” says Mendes. “It fits like a glove.”
A signature nod to an inspiration
Mendes has cited Ed Sheeran and John Mayer as his two biggest guitar influences, and so it’s fitting that the unconventional location of Mendes’ signature inlay – at the third fret as opposed to the more traditional 12th – is a nod to his fellow Martin signature artist Mayer.
“It was partially inspired by a guitar I was gifted for my 21st birthday by John Mayer,” Shawn explains. “That had a custom inlay in the first few frets. I loved the look and just thought it would be a fun and unconventional way to make my signature guitar more unique.”
Touches that Mendes super-fans will love
The 000JR-10E features several design flourishes that are subtle, but unmistakable for the Shawn Mendes super fan, including laser-etched swallows inspired by the tattoo on Shawn’s hand, to laser-etched lyrics hidden inside the body. This guitar is designed not just to be a great instrument, but to be the start of a fan’s journey to unlock the songwriter within.
“It’s an amazing feeling to see people use it,” Mendes explains. “Especially those making their own music. Getting my first guitar was a big deal, so I wanted the guitar to be as affordable as possible so that young musicians could have something to start their own journeys with, or just simply fall in love with playing. I love the idea that this could be a ton of fans’ first guitar.”
A guitar that echoes Shawn’s values
Sustainability and conservation is another way in which Martin and Mendes have shared values and priorities, as such the 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes is a sustainably produced instrument made of 100% FSC®-certified tonewoods, and even the accompanying gigbag has been produced with 100% recycled polyester.
“I try to put sustainability at the forefront of everything I do,” Mendes affirms. “Everything we do has an impact, so whether it’s small changes to my daily lifestyle or bigger ones, it’s extremely important to me that anything I put out in the world be as sustainable as possible.”
Benefiting a cause close to his heart
From the start, Martin Executive Chairman Chris Martin IV made charity a key component of Martin signature instruments, and the Shawn Mendes guitar is no different.
As part of this partnership, Martin Guitars is making a contribution to the Wonder of Music Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), presented by The Shawn Mendes Foundation, which funds music therapy activities that are accessible to young patients in Toronto.
“The Wonder of Music Program is a really special project for me, especially because it’s based in my Hometown of Toronto at SickKids Hospital,” Mendes explains. “Music has always been such an important part of my life and has helped me in many ways, so it’s an honour to be able to share that magic with kids in need.
“The Wonder of Music Program is all about giving young people the opportunity to experience the joy and transformative power of music, and I’m so thankful that Martin wanted to support the program.”
Read an exclusive interview with Shawn Mendes, and a host of other Martin artists, in the 2023 edition of The Martin Journal.