Established 1982 Tel: 020 7249 9398

What Size Cello Do I Need?

Cello Size

The following charts provide a guide to selecting an appropriate cello size.

Instrument sizes may vary slightly within their specified fractional size; our guide applies to Bridgewood and Neitzert’ range of instruments, it is aimed to be as thorough as possible.

How to measure

If your teacher hasn’t already advised you there are several methods to determine the correct size cello.  Based on averages age is generally a good guide to which is the correct size.

By Age

Cello Size Age guide (Years Old)
1/10 Cello 3-5
1/8   Cello 5-6
1/4   Cello 6-7
1/2   Cello 8-10
3/4   Cello 11-13
4/4   Cello 14+

If your teacher hasn’t already advised you there are several methods to determine the correct size cello.  Based on averages age is generally a good guide to which is the correct size.

 

Other methods are measuring your arm length and height.

Have the player extend their left arm completely straight (but not overextended) with no bend in the elbow or wrists.

The ideal size cello for a child is found by measuring the distance between the base of the neck and the left wrist. The hand should be opened, and the arm held out perpendicular to the body (but not overextended) with the shoulder relaxed. With this measurement and height measurement use the table below to establish the correct cello size.

We do not recommend playing on instruments with ‘growing room’ as this can have a detrimental effect on technique, form and posture.

By Arm Length and Height

Cello Size by arm and height Arm length distance A Height
1/10 Cello Up to 41 cm  or 16” Up to 91 cm  or 3’
1/8   Cello 41-46 cm       or 16-18” 91-110    cm  or 3’-3’6”
1/4   Cello 46-51 cm       or 18-20” 110-123  cm  or 3’.6”-4’
1/2   Cello 51-56 cm       or 20-22” 123-140  cm  or 4’-4’6”
3/4   Cello 56-61 cm       or 22-24” 140-152  cm  or 4’6”-5’
4/4   Cello 61+     cm       or 24”+ 152+        cm  or 5’

Violin Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert LondonThe ideal size cello for a child is found by measuring the distance between the base of the neck and the left wrist. The hand should be opened, and the arm held out perpendicular to the body (but not overextended) with the shoulder relaxed. With this measurement use the table below to establish the correct cello size.

We do not recommend playing on instruments with ‘growing room’ as this can have a detrimental effect on technique, form and posture.

 

Violin Size Age guide Arm length distance A in cm
1/16 3-5 years old 35.5 cm or 14″
1/10 3-5 years old 38    cm or 15″
1/8 3-5 years old 42    cm or 16″
1/4 4-7 years old 47    cm or 18.5″
1/2 6-10 years old 51    cm or 20″
3/4 9-11 years old 56    cm or 22″
4/4 11 years old + 58.5 cm or 23″

By Finger Span

Cello Size Finger Span
1/10 Cello 6.35-7.62   cm   or 2.5”-3”
1/8   Cello 7.62            cm   or 3”
1/4   Cello 7.62-10.16 cm  or 3”-4”
1/2   Cello 10.16-12.7 cm  or 4”-5”
3/4   Cello 12.7-15.24 cm  or 5”-6”
4/4   Cello 15.24+        cm  or 6”+

Cello Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert London

 

 

 

 

 

Suzuki Method Sizing

Suzuki Cello Size Age
1/10 3-4
1/8 4-5
1/4 5-6
1/2 6-8
3/4 11-13
4/4 14+

Cello Size Guide

Measuring which size cello you require is very straight forward. This guide is intended to help you find the correct size if you have not been advised.

The actual size difference between the instruments for cellos can be quite large, sizes vary depending upon country of origin and maker.

Most cellos conform to a more or less standard size however older cellos for instance did not, we have several variations for full size cello, 7/8, ‘ladies cello’ etc. which can be confusing.  Modern made instruments also vary, those from China and Germany are mostly correct, Romanian and Hungarian can be smaller.

If your child is just under the next size, it’s tempting to go for a larger instrument. They should only move to larger sizes when they are 100% ready. Playing an instrument which may be only slightly to large could inhibit their progress.

 

If the cello arrives and your teacher suggests a different size, please let us know and we’ll arrange a swap.

 

Other methods of measuring if you already have a cello

If you already have a cello you can easily measure and check if the size is appropriate.

Violin Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert London

 

Check which size cello you already have using the measurements table below, measure the length of the back but be sure not to measure the button (see picture).

Cello Size Back length
1/10 45    cm     or 17.75”
1/8 53    cm     or 20.86”
1/4 58    cm     or 22.83”
1/2 65    cm     or 26”
3/4 69    cm     or 27.16”
7/8 72    cm     or 29.13”
4/4 76.2 cm    or 30”