August 13, 2022

Learning To Play The Violin – What Size Violin Will You Need?

When learning to play the violin one of the most important things to consider is the size of the instrument. If the violin is too small you will become cramped up and your posture will be effected. Too large and you will not be able to reach comfortably to the right position on the finger-board.

The violin is an awkward instrument to play in terms of the position of your body. The perfect sized violin is essential for a more comfortable and enjoyable playing experience.

There are 4 main violin sizes. These are 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full-sized. The 4 lesser-used sizes are 1/8, 1/10, 1/16 and 1/32. So how do you work out which one you’ll need?

Later in this article, I will show you a rough guide which will give you a good idea of the size of violin needed, in relation to your age and arm length.

I use a method with my pupils which involves them placing the violin under their chin and grabbing the scroll at the end of the finger board. If they cannot reach to grab the scroll or they are doing so at a stretch then the violin is probably too big. If they can comfortably hold Ernst Heinrich Roth Violin onto the end of the violin, without stretching, it is probably the right size. I would consider a violin too small if there was too much of a bend in the elbow.

Please make sure that this test is done in the instrument shop before buying your violin. The staff in these stores should also be able to help in this decision.

If you are buying your violin online or by mail-order then as promised, here is a rough guide to use when deciding on one of the main 4 sizes to select.

The 1/4 size is suitable for ages 6 to 7 with an arm length of around 18.5 inches.

The 1/2 size will suit ages of about 8 to 9 with a 20 inch arm length.

The 3/4 violin should be OK for a 10 to 11-year old or an arm length of 22 inches.

Finally, a full-sized violin will be suitable from 11 years of age through to adults with an arm length from 23 inches.

Please seek advice from your violin tutor and use the information in this article to help pick the correct sized violin for you.