Choosing Size

Don't know what size you need?
Below are some guidelines for choosing the sizes for Violin, Viola, and Cello.

Cello:

Cello Size
Your Height
Age
4/4 Full
5 feet and above
15 and above
3/4
4 1/2 to 5 feet
11 to 15
1/2
4 to 4 1/2 feet
7 to 11
1/4
below 4 feet
5 to 7
1/8
below 4 feet
4 to 5

Cello Sizing Tips: Seat the child (or yourself) so that the knees are bent at a ninety degree angle. The instrument should rest such that the upper rim of the cello body rests on the sternum (breast bone), and the left knee contacts the curve below the lower bout corner. The C string (the lowest string) peg should be near the left ear, with the neck a few inches away from the shoulder, and the left hand able to reach both ends of the fingerboard with ease.

Violin:
Violin comes in 8 different sizes: 4/4 (also called Full size), 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16. 4/4 size being the biggest and 1/16 size being the smallest. All adults, regardless of their size, use the 4/4 violin. To measure what size violin best suits you, you need to know the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm (when your hand is fully extended and raised perpendicular to your body, just like holding a violin). Some teachers prefer students to use the length from the neck to the wrist for measurement instead of the neck to mid-palm approach. The violin size determined by the neck/wrist approach would be the size that is more comfortable for students to hold. The violin size determined by the neck/mid-palm approach would be the biggest size students should use.

If you have a teacher, you should ask for your teacher's recommendation. If you don't have a teacher, we would recommend using the neck/wrist approach for students not using full size. For students who are deciding whether to use 3/4 or 4/4 size, use the neck/mid-palm approach. This is because it is always better that students feel comfortable holding and playing the violin.
The following chart lists the length of each violin size. Find your length using the your preferred approach and use that to determine the size of violin to get.

Violin Sizes by Arm Length or Age

Violin Size

Arm Length
(in inches)

Age

4/4 (Full Size)

23

12 year and older

3/4

22

10-11

1/2

20

8-9

1/4

18 1/2

6-7

1/8

16 1/2

5-6

1/10

15

4-5

1/16

14

3 and below


Viola:
To measure what size Viola suits you, do the same measurement as Violin, and refer to the table below:
Viola Size

Viola Size
Arm Length (in Inches)

16"

26"
15"
24.5"
14"
23"
13"
21.5"
12"
20"

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