Among the many considerations you will have to make about where to buy your violin, how much to spend and what to spend it on, you will also need to make sure that your violin is the right size for you.
If you weren’t already aware, violins come in a variety of sizes and in accordance with your age, size etc. so it’s important that you consider which one is the right fit for you. Violins come in eight main sizes. The size corresponds to the length of the body of the violin (not including the neck and scroll). The smallest is 1/16 (just 9 inches or 23 cm), and the sizes work their way up through 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).
How do I know if a violin fits me?
A violin fits if you can reach the notes comfortably with your left hand when holding the violin in the correct playing position. You should also be able to wrap your left hand comfortably around the curve of the scroll with a little bit of bend still left in your arm.
Most adults (and some children from around age 10) will require a full-size violin. It depends on the length of your arm and what you feel you can hold comfortably. When holding up a violin, it should also not feel too heavy and it should be possible to grip the top of the fingerboard with your hand, while still bending your arm easily at the elbow. If an adult feels more comfortable doing this on a 7/8, which is slightly smaller, rather than a full-sized instrument then it’s fine for them to play a violin of this size.
|VIOLIN SIZE||LENGTH (Neck to wrist)|
|1/16||33.5 cm or less, 13 ¼ inches|
|1/10||36 cm, 14 ¼ inches|
|1/8||38.5 cm, 15 ¼ inches|
|1/4||44 cm,17 ¼ inches|
|1/2||48.5 cm,19 inches|
|3/4||52 cm, 20 ½ inches|
|4/4||54 cm, 21 ¼ inches|
Again, a helpful retailer will be able to assist you to make the right choice. Of course, a violin also requires a bow and to save you having to worry about the right size of bow and shoulder rest (yes they come in different sizes too) you should look to buy a complete outfit which usually includes a violin, bow, rosin and a case.
Hidersine violins come in all sizes and with all of those things and having already been inspected and setup ‘ready to play’ in our UK service workshops, it means that you can buy with confidence, knowing that every is the right size and take your new instrument along to your lesson, ready to go from the off.
Of course, if you’re buying a violin for a child, they have a regular habit of growing so it may not be the right sized instrument for very long. You could skip a size (allowing a bit of room for growth) as long as the child is able to play the fourth finger notes. Discussion with your child’s violin teacher would be useful if you are considering that because of course, each child is different as is each violin.
Play viola or cello? We have guides for you too.
What size viola do i need? READ
What size cello do i need? READ