Violin Sizes

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Violin Sizes

Violins should fit their players.  The size makes a difference in both the distance the musician must reach to the fingerboard and the distance the notes are separated on the fingerboard.

Boy holding violin

Violin sizes are measured in fractions: 4/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc.  However this fraction nomenclature can be misleading because, for example, a 1/2 size violin isn't really half the size of a 4/4 violin, as you can see by the chart below.

So how do you know what size is right?

Often the teacher will measure the student and write down the correct size to get.  If your teacher recommends a size, you should get that size regardless of any measurements anyone else might do.

Playing a violin

Otherwise to fit a player to a violin, place the violin under the student’s chin in playing position.  The instrument fits if the student is able to cup the scroll (the far end) of the violin with his hand. 

An alternative method of fitting uses a "fitting yardstick" marked with the instrument sizes. When the end of the yardstick is placed against the student’s neck and stretches the length of his/her outstretched arm, the correct size is the one that is closest on the yardstick to the student’s palm

Violin Size

Total Length
Bow Length
 Common Ages