Why can't I just play any old violin, big or small? People new to the world of string instruments may not know that different size violins even exist. It makes sense, though, for a child to use a little violin and a full-grown adult to play a larger one.
There are several size options for violins: 1/32, 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 4/4 (full size). Choosing a proper length for your body makes it easier to learn and execute violin techniques, such as shifting, vibrato, and various types of bow strokes. Playing on a violin too small or big also may lead to tension-based injury and discomfort, stunting your progress on the instrument.
Thankfully, it takes less than a minute to measure yourself. This method applies to both violins and violas.
- Stick your left arm out, horizontal with the ground and perpendicular (to the side) of your body.
- Take a yardstick or measuring tape, and measure from your neck to the center of the palm of your hand.
- Note the length of your arm from neck to center palm, and use the chart below to select the appropriate violin.
- Remember, a child is growing, so you'll want to measure each year to determine when to upgrade the instrument to the next size up.
|SIZE OF VIOLIN||ARM MEASUREMENT||AGE OF STUDENT|
|1/16||14" - 15.4"||3 - 4 YRS|
|1/10||15.5" - 17"||4 - 5 YRS|
|1/8||17.1" - 17.5"||5 - 6 YRS|
|1/4||17.6" - 20"||6 - 7 YRS|
|1/2||20.1" - 22"||7 - 8 YRS|
|3/4||22.1" - 23.5"||9 - 11 YRS|
|4/4||23.6"+||11 - 13+ YRS|
See -- that was so easy! Such a simple task will mean a more comfortable start to your musical journey.
Check out our Parent's Buying Guide for more info.
Watch Fiddlerman demonstrate the steps above in the video below.
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