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How to Choose the Right Violin Size

Violin Size

To find the correct size you need for your new violin you need to measure your arm.

Please follow these steps:

Please follow these steps:

Please follow these steps:

Please follow these steps:

1: Take an arm measurement. Have the student put his left arm out to the side, as straight as possible.
2: Measure only the left arm unless a teacher has said otherwise.
3: Take the measurement from the bottom of the neck straight out to the palm of the hand.
4: End the measurement in the center of the palm.
5: Take the measurement twice to be sure of the exact number of inches, 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 correct size from the next violin chart:

VIOLIN SIZE: 1/16 - AGE: 3 to 5 years old - ARM LENGTH: 14 to 15 3/8 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 1/10 - AGE: 3 to 5 years old - ARM LENGTH: 15 3/8 to 17 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 1/8 - AGE: 3 to 5 years old - ARM LENGTH: 17.1 to 17.5 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 1/4 - AGE: 4 to 7 years old - ARM LENGTH: 17.6 to 20 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 1/2 - AGE: 6 to 10 years old - ARM LENGTH: 20 to 22 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 3/4 - AGE: 9 to 11 years old - ARM LENGTH: 22 to 23.5 inches
VIOLIN SIZE: 4/4 - AGE: 12 to Adults, Full Size Violin - ARM LENGTH: 23.5 and up

4/4 is the size for adults.

Suggestions: If child is growing like a weed 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, larger violin rather than buying an intermediate violin and replacing it soon after. Rather than buying two cheaper violins one after another, the larger violin would be used longer, thus it would make sense to invest a bit more money into it. The important thing here is that the student is able to or very close to playing the 4th finger. If they can reach this fingering the violin will be usable.

For children skipping a size and playing a slightly large violin you should carefully consider playing a lighter weight violin over a heavy one. Heavier or bulkier violins can be harder to hold up, overextended for long periods of time causing the student to not want to practice for long. A student who has quit never saves the parents money on the violin purchase! Another suggestion here is to use a Shoulder Rest to aid in holding a violin that is too large and needs more support.


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