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What Size Violin Do I Need?

Violin Size

The following charts provide a guide to selecting the appropriate violin 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

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

Violin Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert LondonThe ideal size violin 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 violin 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″

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

When looking at fractional size violins the differences in size don’t look that different, the variation in actual size between a ¼ violin at 47cm and a ½ violin is only 4cm, but this can make a big difference to the player.

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 too large could inhibit their progress.

If the violin 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 violin

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

Violin Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert London


Hold your violin in the playing position, extend your left arm as above, this time try and hold the scroll (as pictured) it should sit in the middle of the palm of the left hand and your fingers should be able to curl around the scroll.



Violin Hire from Bridgewood and Neitzert London


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


Violin Size Age guide
1/16 3-5 years old
1/10 3-5 years old
1/8 3-5 years old
1/4 4-7 years old
1/2 6-10 years old
3/4 9-11 years old
4/4 11 years old +