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How to Choose the Right Violin Size

Please follow these steps to find the correct size you need for your new violin.


Violin Size


Step 1: You need to measure your arm:

Have the student put his left arm out to the side, as straight as possible. Measure only the left arm unless a teacher has said otherwise. Take the measurement from the bottom of the neck straight out to the palm of the hand. End the measurement in the center of the palm. Round the measurement up to the nearest half-inch. 

Please note that even left-handed players play a regular, right-handed violin. Lefties need not worry they can't play the violin! Many lefties play the same as everyone else.

Choose the size of your violin

Step 2: Choose the size of your violin:

• 1/16 Violin for 3 to 5 years old with Arm Length of 14 to 15 3/8 inches
• 1/10 Violin for 3 to 5 years old with Arm Length of 15 3/8 to 17 inches
• 1/8 Violin for 3 to 5 years old with Arm Length of 17.1 to 17.5 inches
• 1/4 Violin for 4 to 7 years old with Arm Length of 17.6 to 20 inches
• 1/2 Violin for 6 to 10 years old with Arm Length of 20 to 22 inches
• 3/4 Violin for 9 to 11 years old with Arm Length of 22 to 23.5 inches
• 4/4 Violin for 12 years old to Adults with Arm Length of 23.5 inches and up
Full size is the Adult Size.


What to do If your child is growing too fast and is too big for the violin you purchased last year.

Should you buy a bigger violin instead? Would fit now but may be too small in 6 months? Or should you skip to the biggest violin and let him grow into it?

This is a frequently dilemma. Choosing to use a larger violin can be a wise choice if the student is growing rapidly and if you are paying a bit more to have a better quality Violin. Rather than buying two cheaper violins one after another, a bigger and better quality violin would last longer, thus it would make sense to invest a bit more money into the next bigger size than buying a small lower quality violin. The important thing here is that the student is able to or very close to playing the 4th finger. If they can reach this 4th fingering the violin will be usable.

For children skipping a size and playing a slightly larger violin you should consider buying a lighter weight violin over a heavy one. Heavy or bulkier violins are harder to play causing the student to avoid practice. 

Another suggestion here is to use a Shoulder Rest to aid in holding the violin and providing support.


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