- The Ultimate Guide to Violin Sizes
- Why are there so many Different Violin Sizes?
- Cremona SV-800 Reviews – Premier Artist Violin Outfit
- Top 17 Best Violin Cases (2020 Reviews & Buying Guide)
- Top 5 Best Violin Strings (2020 Reviews & Buying Guide)
- Why is Choosing the Right Violin Size important?
- Violin Size Chart
- How to Determine Which Violin Size is Right for You or Your Child
- Additional information
Are you or your child starting to learn how to play the violin? Are you confused as to how to find the right violin size and what that really means? In this article, we’ll discuss this and answer your questions.
The Ultimate Guide to Violin Sizes
Why are there so many Different Violin Sizes?
There are 8 main violin sizes and one additional size. The reason why different violin sizes exist is to suit violinists of all ages. A child is incapable of playing on a bigger-size violin and not every teenager will comfortably play on a full-size violin. While children may not be able to reach all the notes, teenagers may have to bend their left elbow even more if the violin is too small, which will reduce the movement of their own fingers.
Why is Choosing the Right Violin Size important?
Knowing how to choose the right violin size is very important when buying a violin, especially if you’re buying a kid’s violin. The right violin size will allow the violinist to play comfortably without having to stretch, thus compromising the quality of his performance. On the other hand, playing for a longer period of time in an uncomfortable position can lead to neck and back pain and even injuries later on.
Eventually, your arms will hurt from holding a big and heavy instrument or from holding a smaller instrument in an uncomfortable position. Not to mention that learning to play on the violin size will endanger your playing abilities, so you’ll have to re-learn when upgrading to a bigger violin size. If you buy the right violin size, you’ll avoid all of this.
Violin Size Chart
The size of a violin size is measured by its body, without the neck and the scroll.
- A 4/4 or a full-size violin – this violin size is for violinists older than 9 years (mostly boys, for girls usually from the age of 11). You won’t have any problems finding this size because it’s the standard violin size.
- A 7/8 size violin is slightly smaller than a full-size violin. It’s mostly for grown-up female violinists who are smaller in growth and whose performance quality is greatly affected by a full-size violin. These violins can be slightly harder to find.
- A 3/4 size violin is for children from the ages of 9-11. Boys overgrow this violin quicker than girls.
- A 1/2 or a half-size violin is for children from the ages of 6-10. This is the most common violin size for beginners. Later on at the age of 10, they’ll upgrade to a full-size violin.
- A 1/4 size violin is for beginners from the ages of 4-7. This size violin is mostly for younger beginners who can’t play on a half-size violin yet.
- A 1/8 size violin is even smaller and is suitable for 3-year-olds.
- A 1/10 size violin is for 3-year-olds who are smaller in growth.
- A 1/16 size violin.
- A 1/32 violin is the smallest violin size. It’s for beginners who start playing at a very young age. You’d think that no child should start playing an instrument that young, but many child prodigies often start playing the violin at the age of 2.
How to Determine Which Violin Size is Right for You or Your Child
First, you’ll need a measuring instrument, for instance, a meter. Then you or your child should stretch out your left arm. However, not in the front or on the side, but in the middle, about 45 degrees in between. Next, measure the distance from the bottom of the palm to the neck. The measurements you get will determine the ideal violin size for you. However, if your child’s growth is rapid, you should measure from the center of the palm to the neck. That determines the biggest size of the violin a person can hold and play. And by doing so, you’ll avoid having to buy a new violin every year.
As always, there are exceptions to any rule. The first one is about skipping violin sizes. This mostly happens with boys, as they grow faster. If you don’t want to have to buy a new violin every few months, it’s alright to buy a bigger-size violin. The child will get used to it very quickly, in three weeks tops. This is because children have a natural ability to quickly adapt to instruments.
Regarding violin quality, we recommend that every time you buy a bigger instrument, buy a better quality one. A poor quality instrument will hold you or your child back from progress and this will prevent you from developing your skills.
Violin accessories and parts will also have to be replaced over time. Your violin case must be the same size as your violin so that it doesn’t break inside the case during transport. The violin bow usually comes with the violin itself and every violin must have a bow that matches its size. As for shoulder rests, you don’t have to replace them so often because many violin rests can be used up to 3 different violin sizes.
Of course, buying a new violin every few months can be resolved by renting one. It’s cheaper, but you or your child will have to be extra careful with it because you might have to pay for every scratch. It’s best to buy a bigger-size violin during summer and winter breaks so your child has enough time to get used to the new violin. However, if it’s obvious that the violin size and quality need to be upgraded, it’s best to do so with the consultation of the child’s teacher. It’s important to remember that the quality of your child’s performance will improve, but it takes a while to get used to a new instrument, so we don’t recommend buying a new violin right before exams or performances.