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Viola Sizes

Viola Sizes Menu

Viola player

Viola Sizes


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

Violas come in a range of sizes, most often 16 1/2", 16”, 15 ½”, 15”, 14”, 13”, and 12", with the sizes representing the length of the viola's top.


  Viola Size  


  Total Length  


  Bow Length   


   Common Ages

 12"

 20.5"

 

7-9

 13

 21.75"

 27"

 9-11

 14"

 23"

 29.3"

 11-14

 15"

 25"

 29.3"

 12-adult

 15.5"

 26"

29.3"

 12-adult

 16"

 26.5"

 29.3"

 12-adult

 16.5"

 27"

 29.3"

 12-adult


 


Viola player

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, that is the size you should get regardless of any measurements anyone else might do.

Otherwise to fit a player to a viola, place the viola 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 viola 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.