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How To Properly Size String Students


Violin and Viola

Violin and violas are determined by the length of the student’s arm.  With the student’s left arm fully extended and palm up, place a measuring device under the chin to simulate a violin - note the measurement at the center of the palm.  If the sizing is between two choices, it is better to play the smaller instrument than to choose the next size up and wait for the student to “grow into it”. 

 

Measurement                         Violin Size         

17 3/4" to 19"                           1/8 size                

19" to 20 3/4”                           1/4 size                

20 3/4" to 22"                           1/2 size                

22" to 23 1/2”                           3/4 size

23 1/2" and up                         4/4 “full” size

Measurement                         Viola Size

20 3/4" to 22"                           12” junior viola              

22" to 23 1/2”                           13” junior viola

23 1/2" and over                      14” junior viola

25 1/2" to 26 1/4"                    15" “full” viola

26 1/4" to 27"                           15.5" “full” viola

27" to 27 1/2"                           16" “full” viola








Cello

For the cello, the sizing below is based on the height of the student. If the sizing is between two choices, it is better to play the smaller instrument then go to the next size up and wait for the student to “grow into it”. 


 

Height                            Cello Size

Up to 4’                           1/4              

4’ to 4’6”                         1/2

4’6” to 5’                         3/4

5’ and up                        4/4 “full”

 

 

Bass

For the bass, the sizing below is based on students of average height for their age.  Unlike other strings, the full size bass is 3/4.  Even adult professionals prefer a 3/4 full size bass, and 4/4 basses are extremely rare. If the sizing is between two choices, it is better to play the smaller instrument then go to the next size up and wait for the student to “grow into it”. 

 

 

Age                                 Bass Size

9-11                                1/4

12-13                               1/2    

14+                                  3/4 “full”

 

 

 
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