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How To Determine the Proper Instrument Size

Violin and Viola
Have the student extend their arm straight out to their side, parallel to the floor, and in line with their shoulders. Next move their arm forward so that it is at a 45 degree angle to their shoulders as shown in this picture:
Turn the student’s palm up toward the ceiling. Place a measuring tape at the base of the student’s neck, next to their left collarbone, and measure out to the center of the student’s palm.

If you are sizing for a violin, compare the measurement you have taken with this table:
Measurement Instrument Size
22" 4/4 size
21" 3/4 size
19.25" 1/2 size
17.25" 1/4 size
15.5" 1/8 size
14.75" 1/10 size
13.5" 1/16 size
13" 1/32 size
Pick the measurement that either matches what you measured or is smaller than your measurement. Do not pick a measurement that is larger than what you measured for your student.
If you are sizing for a viola, use this table:
Measurement Instrument Size
26.25" 16.5 inch
25.5" 16 inch
24.5" 15.5 inch
23.75" 15 inch
22" 14 inch
21" 13 inch
19" 12 inch
17.25" 11 inch
Cello and Bass
When sizing for a cello or bass we will be measuring the size of the student’s left hand. Have the student extend their fingers similar to holding up the number five. Make sure the student is not over extending their fingers and that they are evenly spread as shown here:
Take your measurement from the tip of the index finger to the tip of the pinky as shown in green below:
Once you have this measurement match it up to the following table for Cello:
Measurement Instrument Size
4.25" 4/4 size
3.75" 3/4 size
3.25" 1/2 size
3" 1/4 size
2.75" 1/8 size
2.5" 1/10 size
If you are sizing for a bass, use this table:
Measurement Instrument Size
4.5" 3/4 size
4" 1/2 size
3.5" 1/4 size
3" 1/8 size
Again, pick the size that is smaller than your measured distance, not longer.
Classical Guitar
4/4 Size 7/8 Size 3/4 Size 1/2 Size 1/4 Size
Age 11+ Age 11+ Age 8-11 Age 6-8 Age 4-6
5' or taller 5' or taller
(smaller size/hands)
4' 6" - 4' 11" 3' 10" - 4' 5" 3' 3" - 3' 9"