What Size String Instrument Do You Need?

What Size String Instrument Do You Need?

Orchestral String Instruments Sizing Guide from Irvine Art and Music

Choosing the correct size for an orchestral string instrument is crucial for successful learning and comfort. The right instrument size enables proper technique and finger positioning, while an ill-fitting one can cause discomfort, difficulty in playing, and a discouraging experience. This guide from Irvine Art and Music will help you determine the right size violin, viola, cello, or double bass for yourself or your child, ensuring a comfortable and effective learning experience.

Quick Start: Sizing Charts for Violin, Viola, and Cello

How to Measure for Violin & Viola

  1. Measuring the Player’s Arm Length: Measure from the neck to the center of the palm with the player's arm extended to the side, palm facing upward.
  2. Testing the Instrument in Person: Ensure the player can comfortably wrap their hand around the scroll of the instrument.
  3. Choosing a Size Based on Age: Use age as a general guide if other methods are unavailable.

How to Measure for Cello

  1. Using Player’s Height & Arm Length: Similar to the violin and viola, use the player’s height and arm length to determine the appropriate cello size.
  2. Testing the Cello in Person: Check for proper positioning when the player is seated with the instrument.

String Instrument Fitting Chart

  • Violin sizes range from 1/32 for toddlers to 4/4 for teenagers and adults.
  • Viola sizes are specified in inches, generally ranging from 12 inches for young children to 16.5 inches for adults.

How to Measure for Double Bass

  • By Height or Age: Double basses are typically sized by the player’s height, with sizes ranging from 1/8 for young children to 3/4, often considered full-size for adults.

Tips for Choosing the Right Size Instrument

  • Consult Your Music Teacher: They can provide valuable advice and may have specific preferences for brands or setups.
  • When in Doubt, Choose the Smaller Size: Smaller sizes prevent strain and encourage correct posture and technique.
  • Ensure the Correct Bow Size: The bow must match the size of the instrument to avoid discomfort.

When to Step Up to the Next Size

  • Consider upgrading approximately every other year until the player reaches a full-size instrument.

Irvine Art and Music’s Instrument Options

At Irvine Art and Music, we provide a wide selection of instruments in all sizes, from fractional to full-sized options. Whether you’re buying or renting, our range includes instruments for every level, from beginners to advanced musicians.

Contact Us: For personalized help in selecting the right instrument, reach out to our expert team at Irvine Art and Music.

Rentals Available: Not ready to purchase? Our rental program is flexible, allowing for size upgrades as your child grows. Discover the benefits of renting with us and ensure your child always has the perfect fit for their musical journey.

By following these guidelines, you can find an instrument that fits well and enhances the learning experience, making your musical journey at Irvine Art and Music both enjoyable and successful.