What Are The Different Violin Sizes (Detailed Guide)

violin - What Are The Different Violin Sizes

Violin is a string instrument that can be played by individuals of all ages. It is played with a horsehair bow and ranges back to the 16th century. Mostly used for classical music, violins are a versatile instrument that can not only be played but also enjoyed by everyone. It is considered smart to start practicing the violin from a young age to master the art of it.

Once you have decided so, the child will begin violin lessons naturally. With it, the first and foremost thing that you need to is the instrument, of course, but one that the child is comfortable with playing. 

While researching into it, it has come to our attention that there are a variety of choices when it comes to the different sizes of the violin. This can get difficult, especially for parents, who don’t have much idea as to which one to get or where to turn for good information.

First, we need to know why violins come in different sizes. As we mentioned earlier, violins are played by people of all ages, so they are made in different sizes for the convenience of each and every one. While designing, it was kept in mind that even a small child should be able to find a model that they can hold and play comfortably.

Also read: Best Violin For beginners and experts 

Different sizes of a violin

Now, coming onto the various sizes, violins come in 8 main ones. They are designed in a very smart and efficient way. Every size corresponds to the length of the body of the violin, excluding the neck and scroll. 

The smallest and most common size is 1/16, which is just 9 inches or 23 cm, and the sizes go up till 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, and finally, 4/4, which is also the full size, ranging about 14 inches or 36 cm.

Is it okay to skip a violin sizes?

violin sizes

If you feel that your child is big enough to skip a size, then you can do so. It does no harm per se and usually works fine. These sizes are conventional, but there is no implied rule that you need to go in a particular order itself.

The only time when it may get a little difficult is in adapting to a much bigger instrument. It’s alright to skip a size if you think your child can manage it, but you must not jump the gun.


If you feel that your child is able to play even the fourth finger notes in proper tune, then they are going to be alright with the new size. It would be fruitful to discuss this with your child’s teacher and assess the situation in a better manner.

How to measure the right violin sizes?

Coming on to the most important part, how to measure what size suits you best? As violins come in many different sizes, it is also necessary to know which one to pick so that your comfort and convenience are maintained.

Picking the wrong size will not only make it harder for you to work with the instrument, but it can also get heavy and uncontrollable. To avoid such embarrassing situations, you must know how to measure what size of violin will suit you or your child the best.

In order to do this,
you need to first know the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm or left wrist. This can be measured when your hand is completely extended and raised perpendicular to your body, making a movement just like when you hold a violin. 

measure violin size

Image Source: Wikihow

There is obviously another way that even the teachers usually prefer, which is to use the length from the neck to the wrist. The size of the violin, which is determined by the neck/wrist approach, is preferably the size that is more comfortable for most students to hold. It is usually believed that the size of the violin, which is determined by the neck and mid-palm approach, is much bigger than the necessary size students should use.

When is it okay to move onto a bigger violin sizes?

For you to know when it is okay to move to a bigger size, look for these signs.

Firstly, make sure that you or your child is adapted to the current size. After that is done, you can move to a bigger size but remember to give yourself at least a few weeks to get used to it. If you already have a good bow technique, then you are capable enough to handle a violin that is one size bigger than your current one.  


Remember, learning and getting used to an instrument is a patience game, so don’t beat yourself up over it! Just be determined and practice regularly, that’s more than enough! Thanks for reading through!

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