Finding the correct size violin for a child is one of the most common questions we often get asked. Luckily the process of sizing is actually incredibly easy and something you can even do from home with a little know how!
Today we’ll walk you through a quick guide to the different sizes of violins out there as well as a quick and easy way that you can size a violin for a child using just a tape measure!
What sizes of violins are there?
Violins come in a whole range of sizes and each is measured by a number, we have:
4/4 - Full size
3/4 - Three quarter size
1/2 - Half size
1/4 - Quarter size
1/8 - Eighth size
1/16 - Sixteenth size
1/32 - Thirty third size (this is really really small…)
There are even smaller sizes and other specialist sizes out there, however the above sizes will suit almost any need out there. For some of the smaller sizes, we’ve even had one customer use a 1/32 violin as a decoration on their christmas tree!
Which size do I need?
If the violin you are looking for is intended for an adult, almost 99% of the time, you’ll need a 4/4 size violin. This is the standard violin size and the most common size an adult will use. Some may require a 3/4 or specialist size, however this is rather rare.
When it comes to children however, things do get a little more varied. As most children begin playing the violin during their school years, there is a lot of variation in the sizes suited to each child and as they grow, their violin will grow with them.
Generally speaking, most children stay one size between a year and a half to two years.
This is also a key reason why many parents often opt to rent a violin instead of buying one because that way if their child either decides it’s not for them or does outgrow the instrument, you can easily return it to us with no hassle and upgrade to the next size!
How to size a violin
Sizing the violin is easy. Simply ask the child to stand straight with their left arm held out horizontal. Then grab a tape measure or measuring tool and measure from the base of their neck to the centre of palm of their hand.
Then compare the length of their arm with the chart above. This will give you the size you should need - It's really that easy!
This is the full length of the arm and should give enough of an indication to base a violin sizing from. Sure it’s not 100% accurate, but for a first fitting, this is all that is needed as the child adapts to the instrument.
How to tell if the violin is too big or too small
If your violin arrives and the child can’t comfortably grab the scroll (the top) of the violin without either having to strain, or without cramping their arm, the instrument isn’t quite the right size. Simply send it back to us and we’ll send out the next size for you!
A well fitted violin should form a natural arc that feels loose and comfortable. This will give you more than enough freedom to move your fingers down the neck of the violin to have full range of each note. The natural arc also makes bowing the violin much easier too.
So there you have it, there isn’t much more to it! If you’d like to learn more about our violin rental scheme, apply here. Or if you’d like further information on our violin range, contact our expert teams today!