How to Choose the Right Violin Size for You: A Guide

Choosing the Right Violin Size

When starting to learn an instrument like the violin, every step counts, including choosing the right instrument. There are several factors to consider, and making the wrong decision can be costly. However, armed with the right information, you can make an informed choice and find the perfect violin for your needs.

Different Violin Sizes

Violins are available in different shapes and sizes. There are some set standards when it comes to the suitability of the instrument. When you are buying a violin, you need to align with those standards. A perfect violin is always available for every age group and arm’s length.

The following table represents different sizes of violins available in the market and their respective suitability to the player’s arm length and age.

Violin SizeMeasurement (Inches)Measurement (Centimeters)Player’s Age (Years)Arm Length (Inches)

Measuring and Finding Your Size

When considering violins of sizes 1/4 and 1/2, the difference may not seem significant at first glance, as it’s only four centimeters. However, this small difference can greatly impact a player’s experience. The additional distance requires the player to stretch their arm, which can lead to discomfort and impede learning. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the right size violin for the player’s comfort and success.

The solution to this problem is measuring the player and finding a suitable violin size. There are several methods for measurement, but the following are the most commonly used:

1. Neck-to-Wrist Measurement Method

Measuring the length of your arm is a highly effective way of determining the most comfortable violin size for you. To size your violin, simply extend your arm perpendicular to your body, keeping it straight and taut. Then, ask someone to measure the distance from the base of your neck to your wrist. You can use an inch-tape or tape with centimeter markings to take this measurement. This method will help you find the perfect size of the violin that will be comfortable for you to play.

Neck to Wrist Measurement Method for finding perfect violin size

2. Neck-to-Palm Measurement Method

This method is useful in determining the maximum size of the violin that a player can handle comfortably. The steps for using this method are similar to the “neck to wrist measurement method.”

However, in addition to measuring the distance from the neck to the wrist, you should also measure the distance from the wrist to the base of the palm. Make sure to record this value accurately, as it is an essential factor to consider when selecting a violin.

It’s particularly important to keep in mind if you’re buying a violin for a child, as they may outgrow their instrument within a few years. However, if you want your child to start playing immediately, you should not exceed this threshold value.

Neck to Palm Measurement Method

Things to Avoid When Looking for Your Size

Once you have clarity about the size you want to go with, you are halfway in your journey to pick the right instrument. The remainder of your journey will involve decision-making and avoiding the mistakes people make, even after getting the size right.

We are highlighting those often missed points here to avoid those potential mistakes.

1. Absolutes Change With Brands

Though numeric values should be the same everywhere, absolutes are absolutes. But we don’t even live in a perfect world. Do we? The length of a 1/10 violin from brand A may not equate to the 1/10 violin of brand B.

The lesson we learned here is that you need to crosscheck the violin you received. Make sure the size is the same. Thus, measure in centimeters for exact evaluation. If it does not align with your target size, immediately speak to your seller.

2. One Size May Not Always Fit All

There is another very subtle variable that you can’t afford to overlook. A person with a particular arm’s length would require a standard-sized violin. But there are exceptions too.

The exception comes into play when your palm size is too small. Even with the “neck to palm method,” we only measure to the middle of the palm.

Suppose you have got the measurement right, still not feeling comfortable with your instrument. Then, it will help if you consider taking a little smaller size.


As discussed in this piece, every age group requires a uniquely sized violin. If you have a growing child at home, it might become a costly affair to get a new violin set every year. Also, you will need to purchase accessories like the case and bow separately.

If your child is growing fast, it’s always a good idea to rent a violin until he/she needs a regular size, like 3/4 or 4/4.

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