Different sizes of violins

Finding the right size of violin

Got your first violin…? But the right size?

Find­ing the right size of vio­lin for their child is always a mat­ter that pre­oc­cu­pies par­ents once they meet the deci­sion to start vio­lin lessons. In the major­i­ty of the cas­es of par­ents usu­al­ly buy the instru­ment ahead the first meet­ing with the teacher and usu­al­ly 2 sizes big­ger than the appro­pri­ate (the log­ic behind that is obvi­ous). Why to buy four of five vio­lins with small­er sizes instead of buy­ing just one in the end size. The truth how­ev­er is that an instru­ment which is too small or large is dif­fi­cult to play and more dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to for par­ents. Ill-fit­ting instru­ments can­not be played in tune and can harm the young player’s grow­ing mus­cles and ten­dons. More­over chil­dren avoid instinc­tive­ly tir­ing activ­i­ties that push­es their mus­cu­lar sys­tem into its lim­its. As result they avoid to prac­tice quit­ting the music lessons.
It is thus essen­tial from the very begin­ning to have the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion in mind to make the right deci­sion about the vio­lin size. The fol­low­ing table will give a gen­er­al idea about the appro­pri­ate size in regard to age and arm length with­out though being “panacea”.

A table comparing the size of violin in relation to age and arm length:

Age of play­er Player’s arm length Vio­lin Size Vio­lin mea­sure­ments (Length: body & Total)
11 to adult 23 “ 4/4 or full size 14 – 23, 5 “
9 – 12 years 21,5 – 22, 00 “ 3/4 13 – 21 “
7 – 9 years 20” 2/4 or 1/2 12, 5 – 20, 5 “
5 — 7 years 18 – 18, 5” 1/4 11 – 19 “
4 — 6 years 16, 5” 1/8 10 – 17 “
4 – 5 years 15 “ 1/10 9 – 16 “
3 – 5 years 14 “ 1/16 8 – 14, 5


Alter­na­tive­ly you can always size a vio­lin against the play­er. Have the young child  hold the vio­lin up on the left shoul­der and extend­ing out 45 degrees from their side (not in the front, not to the side.) Next, ask the play­er to reach from under the vio­lin to the scroll (curly end) of the vio­lin with their out­stretched left hand, curv­ing the fin­gers around the scroll from below. If the scroll ends up in the wrist (begin­ning of the palm) then you have the appro­pri­ate size (see the pho­to below).


When the scroll end on the wrist ( beginning of the palm) then you have the right size.
When the scroll end on the wrist ( begin­ning of the palm) then you have the right size.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *