What size violin do I need

What Size Violin Do I Need?

10 minutes

What size violin do I need? What are the different size violins? What size violin should I buy for my child? Many questions that the outstanding violinist Jamie Hutchinson, fresh from a recording session at Abbey Road Studios, can answer.

What size violins are available?

The answer to the question “what size violin do I need for my child” doesn’t need to be complicated.  Violins come in different sizes. The smallest instruments are 1/16 (just 9 inches or 23 cm), increasing to a 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8 and finally 4/4 or full size (about 14 inches or 36 cm).

If you have two children aged five, don’t assume their instruments will be the same size..

How do I measure to find out the right size violin?

To measure your arm length, grab a tape measure and run it from the left side of the neck (where it meets the shoulder) down the left arm to their left-hand fingers (where the fingers meet the palm of the hand). The arm must not be bent at the elbow and needs to be at a right angle to the body, with the palm of the hand facing up towards the ceiling.

You need to be able to reach the notes with ease.

If in doubt, your teacher should advise.

Violin Size Chart Measurements

SIZE LENGTH*
1/1633.5 cm or less, 13 ¼ inches
1/1036 cm, 14 ¼ inches
1/838.5 cm, 15 ¼ inches
1/444 cm,17 ¼ inches
1/248.5 cm,19 inches
3/452 cm, 20 ½ inches
4/454 cm, 21 ¼ inches
* Length is from the neck to wrist
what size violin do i need

Recommended Violins

Children:

These starter violins should last a couple of years of violin lessons. Teachers usually advise when to upgrade to one of the larger violin sizes (as the smaller size instrument’s fit becomes an issue).

OUR STARTER VIOLIN RECOMMENDATIONS:
SIZES 1/16 | 1/10 | 1/8 | 1/4 | 1/2 | 3/4

Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit 3
1/16 | Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit

around £100/$130

Designed for the entry-level student. We like the Stentor Violin as it's carved from solid tonewoods, with inlaid purfling and blackened hardwood pegs and fingerboard. It's an ideal choice for beginners AND fitted with integral adjusters for fine tuning.

All components have been built to a high standard, unlike many other instruments that either use composite woods or laminate tops. Offering great value, it comes complete with case and wooden bow with ebony frog.
MORE >>>
Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit 2
1/10 | Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit

around £100/$130

Designed for the entry-level student. All components have been built to a high standard, unlike many other instruments that either use composite woods or laminate tops. Offering great value, it comes with case and wooden bow with ebony frog.

We like the Stentor Violin as it's carved from solid tonewoods, with inlaid purfling and blackened hardwood pegs and fingerboard. An ideal choice for beginners; it's even fitted with integral adjusters for fine tuning!
MORE >>>
Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit
1/8 | Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit

around £100/$130

Designed for the entry-level student. We like the Stentor Violin as it's carved from solid tonewoods, with inlaid purfling and blackened hardwood pegs and fingerboard. It's an ideal choice for beginners AND fitted with integral adjusters for fine tuning.

All components have been built to a high standard, unlike many other instruments that either use composite woods or laminate tops. Offering great value, it comes complete with case and wooden bow with ebony frog.
MORE >>>
Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit
1/4 | Stentor Student Standard Violin Outfit

around £100/$130

Designed for the entry-level student. All components have been built to a high standard, unlike many other instruments that either use composite woods or laminate tops. Offering great value, it comes with case and wooden bow with ebony frog.

We like the Stentor Violin as it's carved from solid tonewoods, with inlaid purfling and blackened hardwood pegs and fingerboard. An ideal choice for beginners; it's even fitted with integral adjusters for fine tuning!
MORE >>>
Primavera Violin
1/2 | Primavera 100 Violin With Gold Level Set Up

around £140/$190

Coming set up and ready to play with D'Addario Prelude strings; this gold level set up offers the perfect starting point. it's set up by an expert luthier, meaning you can start playing straight away!

One of the reasons we love it so much is that the instrument produces a full and resonant sound, mostly due to the hand-carved maple and spruce body.
MORE >>>
Primavera Violin
3/4 | Primavera 200 Violin Outfit

around £150/$200

Coming set up and ready to play with D'Addario Prelude strings; this gold level set up offers the perfect starting point. it's set up by an expert luthier, meaning you can start playing straight away. It was even voted the "Best Bowed Instrument" two years in a row, so you know it's going to be good!

We love this violin. Boasting a hand-carved maple and spruce body, the Primavera violin produces an outstandingly well-rounded tone.
MORE >>>

Adults:

Adults use the largest size violin; a 4/4 or full size (some small adults/teenagers will sometimes play a 3/4).  The two clear choices for adult violinists are:

FIRST CHOICE

Purchase the cheapest starter full-size violin and upgrade when you progress. We recommend:

OUR ECONOMY FULL SIZE VIOLIN RECOMMENDATIONS:

Primavera Violin
Primavera 100 Full Size Violin With Gold Level Set Up

around £140/$190

Coming set up and ready to play with D'Addario Prelude strings; this gold level set up offers the perfect starting point. it's set up by an expert luthier, meaning you can start playing straight away!

One of the reasons we love it so much is that the instrument produces a full and resonant sound, mostly due to the hand-carved maple and spruce body.
MORE >>>
Archer Violin
Archer 44V-500 Full Size Violin

around £180/$245

Beginner violins don't get much better than this. The Archer 44V-500 violin is a beautiful instrument which is perfect for keen students. Boasting a hand-carved body alongside stunning Ebony fittings, the Archer 500 series violin is guaranteed to impress.

The choice of wood is the most important factor of a violin's tone. This is why they've used European maple alongside a solid Spruce top. The complex organic nature of these European woods offer a tone which is brimming with nuance and character.
MORE >>>

SECOND CHOICE

Purchase the best instrument you can afford to avoid upgrading later. We recommend the following violins:

OUR BEST FULL SIZE VIOLIN RECOMMENDATIONS:

Cremona Violin
Cremona SV600 Violin Outfit, Full Size

around £500/$700

Inspired by the masters. The Cremona SV600 violin is an outstanding instrument, capable of taking you to the highest grades and beyond. Crafted with a figured maple back and sides with a solid spruce top, the Cremona SV600 is perfect for any discerning violinist.

Cremona's attention to detail can be found all over the SV600. Coming complete with full ebony fittings with stylish Parisian eyes, the Cremona violin looks just as professional as it sounds. For a beautiful aesthetic, the SV600 is finished in a light orange varnish.
MORE >>>
Eastman Violin
Eastman Master Series Stradivarius Violin Outfit with Gold Set Up

around £1,000/$1,500

The Eastman Master Series Stradivarius Violin Outfit is an instrument designed for the advanced player. The violin is designed with a highly select spruce top and a flamed maple back, sides and scroll. Amber spirit varnish has been hand-applied to this violin in reminiscence of its Italian makers.

The Violin is fitted with an ebony fingerboard, boxwood chinrest and tailpiece. This model has been treated to a Gold Level Setup which consists of the highly popular Larsen Virtuoso Strings, which are professionally fitted and measured in line with the bridge, to provide ease of play as well as resulting in a full bodied and incredibly responsive sound.
MORE >>>
Yamaha Violin
Yamaha V20G Intermediate Violin Outfit Full Size

around £2,000/$2,700

The Yamaha V20SG Violin has been inspired by the historical famous luthier Guarneri in producing a powerful and rich sounding instrument. Using carefully selected spruce and maple and high quality varnishing, this instrument has been built to the highest standards. Including a Wittner fine tuner on the E string and great quality Dominant strings, you will not be disappointed with this instrument. In fact, we think it is THE BEST violin in it's price range.
MORE >>>

Other options

If you don’t like these violin purchase suggestions, pop down to your local violin shop or music rental shop to see other options. Otherwise, look at the violin reviews here.

Some common questions

How do I know if a violin fits me?

The following measurement is a test to make sure you have the right sized instrument:

To check if you have the correct size and playing position, get your left arm and curve your left hand comfortably around the scroll, with a bit of bend still in your arm. If you have too much bend in the arm length, or too little, the violin is the wrong size.

Alternatively, your violin teacher should be able to help.

Show

What size violin should I buy for my child who is growing fast?

Your child is growing and has outgrown their current violin. Should you buy the next size instrument? It would fit perfectly right now but will be too small in six months. Or should you skip a size knowing your child will grow into it?

This is the most common question asked by students. There are two options:

  1. Choosing a larger violin can be sensible if you are prepared to pay a bit more to have a better quality, larger violin, rather than buying two cheaper violins in quick succession.
  2. It is possible (if unlikely) that the child’s growth slows down. If this happens, it could be longer until the violin becomes comfortable to play – and this can damage technique in the long term. HOWEVER, this happens so rarely that option number 1 is usually the best.

Fundamentally, the most important thing is that the student can (or at least very close) play the 4th finger on the fingerboard. If they can reach this fingering the violin will be a good fit.

Show

How do I help my child with a violin that is a little too large?


One easy bit of advice to implement straight away is to use a shoulder rest. It helps support and usually extends the time the students can hold the violin before getting fatigued.
Show

How do I play the violin if I'm left-handed?


That’s simple! Even left-handed players play a regular, right-handed violin – in the same technique a right-handed player would have.
Show
Easiest String Instrument To Learn Violin

Other things to think about

It’s not just your violin that you need to think about. All students should have the following:

bow

The bow (and case) will come with the violin. If you are purchasing a cheap violin, think about buying a better quality bow - it can make all the difference, help with your bow technique, and is worth it. The size bow will equate to the size of the instrument.
Recommended Bow

Case

When you get to a full-size instrument, it may be worth investing in an additional hard case.
Recommended Case

Rosin

Don't forget to purchase some decent rosin! We recommend MoreEyes rosin.
Recommended Rosin

SHOULDER RESTS​

Beginner students will not always start with a shoulder rest, but they will use one at some point in the first year. They come in different sizes to match the size of the violin.
Recommended Shoulder Rests

SPARE STRINGS ​

Strings always come on a violin, regardless of if you rent or buy. Sometimes strings break or wear out after being played for about six months, and for this reason, it's always handy to have a spare pack of strings in your violin case.
Recommended Strings

Music stand

Every musician needs a music stand. These last for life (or should do); so when you are apportioning your budget, spend a decent amount of money on a sturdy, reliable stand. The cheap folding stands are fine for whizzing around and performing in random places, but at home have a good, non-foldable stand. Trust me, without this, you'll be sending plenty of cash into your swear jar!
Recommended Music Stand
What size violin do I need

Summary - What SIze Violin Do I Need

Choosing a violin size doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow the instructions and advice above, make sure the student’s measurement is accurate, and you’ll soon figure out the most comfortable size for your body, regardless of your age. Isn’t it nice to find comfort in something uncomplicated and easy to figure out!

Let us know in the comments below if you liked the video..

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Learning the Violin. It’ll help you!

FAQ's

How do you know what size violin you need?

If you’re an adult, you’ll almost certainly need a 4/4 (full size) violin. If you’re a child, you’ll need to figure out the right size. Make sure you grab a tape measure, then look at our violin sizing chart.

What is a 1/2 size violin?

A 1/2 size violin is a violin that is half the size of a full-size instrument. It’s useful for children who wish to play, where the 4/4 violin would be too large. Find out more here.

What are the dimensions of a 4 4 violin?

The dimensions of a 4 4 violin are Violin Body Length: 356mm or approx. 14 inches – Full Length: 60cm or 23.5in.

What is the best size violin for beginners?

Violins come in different sizes. There is no ‘best size violin for beginners’. It’s all to do with what size is right for the player, irrespective of if they are a beginner or not. The age range, and how many years old you are, is almost irrelevant. Find out more on our dedicated article called Violin Sizes Explained.

Violin Sizing Chart

To view our violin sizing chart, visit our article on Violin Sizes.

DID YOU LIKE THE Violin Sizes Explained VIDEO?

▪ The Full YouTube Playlist → 
▪ Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content → 

Did you make a comment below the video?  If you forgot, no worries!  Just click here to comment below…

SHARE NOW
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Let Us save you Time & money by choosing the right instrument
FREE Report Reveals.....

GETTING STARTED WITH MUSIC LESSONS

Join Our Members Facebook Group Now

FREE

REPORT REVEALS...

Violin Top 10 Tricks

Top 10 Tricks

To Playing The​

Violin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0 Comments

Join 4,729 Subscribers Who Receive
Free Tips On Learning A Musical Instrument
Affiliate Disclaimer: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
This keeps it 100% reader-supported and free of ads. Thanks for your support!
Copyright © 2021 Arts Digital Limited trading as Ted’s List™®. All rights reserved.

Ted's List is a project run by The Emery Foundation - a Micro-Trust of GivingWorks, registered charity number 107877.

The idea of Ted's List was setup to raise funds for musicians during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the Get Musicians Working project.

Quick Guide...

Getting Started with Music Lessons

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Free Report Reveals...

10 Secrets To Successful Music Lessons

Join 4,729 Subscribers Who Receive Free Tips

Our community can help YOU learn any musical instrument in the best way possible - sign up now

THE SPOTLIGHT IS WAITING

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

THE SPOTLIGHT IS WAITING

Your Tips & Tricks Are Waiting

Sign up to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

ONE-2-ONE ADVICE PACKAGE

Need Professional Guidance On What To Buy?

Our 0ne-2-0ne Advice Package is a 15 minute phone-call with one of ted’s list’s professional musicians.

They can guide and advise you on what instrument to purchase and where from; often securing a discount along the way.

£50 £25

Every Friday

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument

THE SPOTLIGHT IS WAITING

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

FREE REPORT REVEALS

Top 10 Tricks

To Playing The

What Size Violin Do I Need?

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when researching singing techniques

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Singing App

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

THE NEW ARTS ACADEMY...

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing studio gear

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Join Ted's List Now To Get Your Tips & Tricks

Sign up now to find out how to save time & money when choosing a musical instrument

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

EVERY FRIDAY

Get the 4 Things We Have Been Loving, Using and Reviewing

Your Video Is Waiting!

How To Save Time & Money When Choosing A Musical Instrument