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Violin size guide: How to know if your child is playing the right size violin or viola

by Bows for Strings on

A topic that we are frequently asked about is sizing. The question that parents of growing players want answered is, 'does my child need a bigger instrument?'

To help, we have put together this simple guide to checking the size of your violin or viola (cellists, check out our cello sizing guide here).

There are many approaches to determining the right size instrument, and so we always recommend consulting with your teacher first to discuss their preferences.

Here at Bows for Strings, this is the method we use:

  1. Ask the player to extend their arm gently
  2. Position the instrument at the base of their neck (in the playing position)
  3. Check where the scroll of the instrument meets the player's arm or hand
  4. If the scroll meets the player's hand anywhere from the middle of the palm to where the palm meets the wrist, then we suggest this is an appropriate size for a student to be playing.
  5. If the scroll goes beyond the palm to the fingers then we suggest that the instrument is too big and the player is not yet ready for this size*.
  6. If the scroll meets the player's arm roughly where a wrist watch would sit, then this instrument could be considered too small and so it is time to consider the next size up.
*Note: we always recommend playing a slightly smaller instrument over an instrument that is too big.

    Watch Myles demonstrate and explain in the video below:


    We hope this guide helps. If you are unsure about the size of your violin or viola, please don't hesitate to drop into our showroom or give us a call on 03 8802 7905.

    Happy playing!

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