What size violin do you need?

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Playing with a violin of adequate size is essential to acquire the correct technique and avoid injuries. Playing with a violin that is too large not only makes it difficult to play but also favors the acquisition of postural “vices” and can even cause injuries. If, on the contrary, we talk about playing with a violin too small, we will see that the student has some difficulties and that they cannot advance everything that would be desirable.

Below we see what the different sizes of the violin are, how they are called and how to know what is the right size for each person.

In how different violin sizes are there?

The different sizes of a violin refer to the proportion with respect to the full size. The full-size violin is known as the 4/4. The next smaller violin in size is the 3/4 violin, followed by the 1/2 violin and the 1/4 violin.

You can also find smaller violins in the following sizes: 1/10, 1/8, 1/16, and even 1/32. The latter is made for very young children.

In addition, there are teaching methodologies, such as the Suzuki methodology, which can begin with children as young as two years old.

Reference to determine the violin size by age

In general, violin sizes follow age. Below are the general age ranges for various violin sizes:

  • 1/16 violin for children 3-4 years
  • 1/16 violin for children 4-5 years
  • 1/8 violin for children 5-6 years
  • 1/4 violin for children 6-7 years
  • 1/2 violin for children 7-8 years
  • 3/4 violin for children 9-11 years
  • Violin 4/4 from 12 years old

How to find the right violin size with a violin?

The most appropriate way to find the right violin size is to have the student actually hold the violin. To test the size of the violin, place the violin on the person’s shoulder and have the person stretch their arm under the violin. Have them wrap their hand around the scroll (the top of the violin).

If the person cannot wrap their hand around the scroll and the fingers do not hang around, then the violin is too large. If the arm is not fully stretched, it is likely that they can use a larger size violin.

How to measure the arm to determine the violin size?

If you cannot test the violin directly on the person, another method is to measure from the center of the person’s left hand to the neck with the arm fully extended. The measures and their corresponding sizes are as follows:

  • 1/16 violin for measures from 35 to 38 cm.
  • 1/10 violin for measures from 39 to 42 cm.
  • 1/8 violin for measures from 43 to 46 cm.
  • 1/4 violin for measurements from 47 to 51 cm.
  • 1/2 violin for measurements from 52 to 56 cm.
  • 3/4 violin for measures from 57 to 59 cm.
  • Violin 4/4 from 60 cm.

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