How to measure the proper violin size.

Measure from the center of the left palm to the neck, with the left arm and hand fully extended out perpendicular to the body (as if holding a violin).

Violins come in nine different sizes: 4/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16, and 1/32. 4/4 (full size) being the biggest and 1/32 size being the smallest. Most all adults use a full-size violin.

To measure what size violin best suits you, you need to know the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm or left wrist.  This is measured when your hand is fully extended and raised perpendicular to your body, just like holding a violin.  Many teachers prefer students to use the length from the neck to the wrist for measurement instead of the neck to mid-palm approach. The violin size determined by the neck/wrist approach would be the size that is more comfortable for students to hold. The violin size determined by the neck/mid-palm approach would be the biggest size students should use.  By using our chart, you will find the size which most probably will be the best for your child.

K 5-6 min. of 16″ *1/8 *if the child is tall as n average 1st grader with arms longer than 18″, choose 1/4 size.
1 6-7 min. of 18″ 1/4
2 7-8 min. of 18″ *1/4 * if the child is tall as an average 3rd grader with arms longer than 20″, choose 1/2 size.
3 8-9 min. of 20″ 1/2
4 9-10 min. of 20″ *1/2 if the child is tall as an average 5th grader with arms longer than 22″, choose 3/4 size.
5 10-11 min. of 22″ 3/4
6 11-12 min. of 22″ *3/4 if the child is tall as an average 7th grader with arms longer than 23″ choose 4/4 size.
7-Adult 12+ min. of 23″ 4/4

Sizing your Cello

Like violins and violas, cellos come in different sizes to accommodate different players. Cellos are sized according to the length of the back of the instrument. Older teenagers and adults play full-size, or 4/4, cellos. These are 30 inches in length or sometimes slightly longer depending on the manufacturer. Younger and/or shorter students will find the smaller cellos will fit better. The smallest size cello back is approximately 17.5 inches long.


To select the best size cello, you will need to measure the arm length and the height of the player. To measure the arm, have the student stand with their arm outstretched, palm facing up, and measure from the side of the neck to the middle of the palm. Then use this size chart to find a starting point for finding the best cello.

K-2 4-6 min. of 16″ 1/10 3 feet and under
1-3 5-7 min. of 16-18″ 1/8 3 to 3.5 feet
3-5 7-9 min. of 18-20″ 1/4 3.5 to 4 feet
5-7 9-11 min. of 20-22″ 1/2 4 to 4.5 feet
7-9 11-15 min. of 22-24 3/4 4.5 to 5 feet
9-Adult 15 min. of 24″ 4/4 5 feet or taller