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Size advice

Which instrument size do I choose?

In order to be able to play an instrument correctly and comfortably, it is essential that you choose the violin, viola or cello in the right size. We always advise to measure arm or body lengths precisely before making a decision. The age of a musician below is just an indication; always use the measurements as primary guidline.

Violin

Age Arm length* Instrument
3 - 5 years 35 - 43 cm 1/16
4 - 6 years 43 - 45 cm 1/8
5 - 7 years 45 - 50 cm 1/4
6 - 8 years 50 - 56 cm 1/2
7- 10 years 56 - 60 cm 3/4
10+ years 60+ cm 4/4

*arm length measured from armpit to the top of the middle finger

For teenagers and adults there exist also 7/8 sized violins. These are sometimes choosen by adolescents or adults with small hands, but is not a standard size.

Were you able to make your choice? Have a look at our violins to buy or our violins to rent!

 

Viola

Violas don't have specified sizes as violins and cellos do. Instead, the instrument size is usually indicated in inches (or centimers). For convenience we however use comparable sizes in fractions throughout the website as well (as some string manufacturers do).

Age Arm length* Instrument Comparable size
6 - 7 years 50 - 55 cm 12" 1/2
7 - 9 years 55 - 60 cm 13" 3/4
10 - 14 years 60 - 64 cm 15" 7/8
14+ years 64 - 68 cm 16" or more 4/4

*arm length measured from armpit to the top of the middle finger

 

Violas don't have standardized sizes. The most used size for a full viola, is one with a 16" body. This size is the best compromise between playability and full, deep sound. Some adults however use 15" violas, as they are easier to play. These instruments lose a little bit in sound depth because of their smaller size, but might be preferable for smaller people, or violinists who don't like the large gap between a 14" violin and a viola.

Were you able to make your choice? Have a look at our violas to buy or our violas to rent!

 

Cello

Age Body length* Span width fingers** Instrument
3 - 5 years < 90cm < 7cm 1/10
5 - 6 years 90 - 105 cm 7 - 8 cm 1/8
6 - 7 years 105 - 120 cm 8 - 10 cm 1/4
7 - 10 years 120 - 135 cm 10 - 13 cm 1/2
9 - 13 years 135 - 150 cm 13 - 15 cm 3/4
13+ years 150+ cm 15+ cm 4/4

*body length measure from head to heel

**span width is the maximum distance between the top of the forefinger and the top of the pink (spread fingers as far as possible while measuring)

 

For teenagers and adults there exist also 7/8 sized cellos. These are sometimes choosen by adolescents or adults with small hands, but is not a standard size.

Were you able to make your choice? Have a look at our cellos to buy or our cellos to rent!

 

My measurements are on the border of two sizes! Which size do I take?

Nothing is more annoying than playing on an instrument that is too big. The instrument will be to heavy, notes will be difficult to reach, and so on. When in doubt, always take the smaller size, or listen to the advise of your teacher.