Choosing the right size violin is essential for the most comfortable playing and to avoid playing in an unnatural position that could cause incorrect habits or cause pain or injury. There are 9 different sizes of violin that correspond to varying ages and arm lengths. As a child grows, they will need to upgrade their violin to the next size. This is one of the reasons why violin rental is so popular for young violinists. So, what size violin should your child be using, and when will they need to upgrade?
Violin Sizes Explained
You can determine the correct sized violin based on arm length. Age is also a factor, but this is just a general starting point since children of the same age vary in size. The sizes range from 4/4 size down to 1/32. When referencing arm length, this measurement is taken from the base of the neck to the middle of the palm.
1/32 size violins are the smallest available, measuring at only 13 inches long. They are meant for the youngest violin players, typically age 2-5 or children with an arm length of 14 inches (35 centimeters) or less. This size is not very commonly available since they are meant for such young players, but you may be able to find one as a violin rental if you are in need of one this size.
The more widely found smallest violin size is the 1/16 size violin measuring 14 inches long. Children under the age of 5 can often play these rather than the 1/32 size violin if their arms are around 14-15 ⅜ inches long. If your child is small and young, this is more likely what you will find as a violin rental rather than a 1/32 violin.
Children around age 4-5 will likely be able to play a 1/10 size violin. The violin measures 15 inches long and will suit children with an arm length of 15 ⅜ to 17 inches.
A ⅛ size violin measures at 17 inches long and can be easily played by children with arms between 17 to 17 ½ inches long. Most children age 5-6 will fall into this range.
The length of a ¼ size violin is 19 inches long and will fit a child with an arm length of 17½ to 20 inches. Children age 6-7 can often play this size violin with ease.
A ½ size violin is 20 inches long and a great size for players aged 7-9 with an arm length of 20 to 22 inches.
A ¾ size violin is 22 inches long and can comfortably fit a child from age 9-11 as long as their arms are about 22 to 23½ inches long.
The ⅞ size violin is another that isn’t as common. It is in between the ¾ violin and the full sized violin. Sometimes players will choose this size if they are experiencing pain or discomfort when playing a 4/4 violin.
4/4 Full Size Violin
A 4/4 size violin is 23 inches long and is typically played by adults or children 12 and older. To play a full size violin comfortably, the arm length should be at least 23 inches long, though longer is fine too.
How to Choose a Violin Bow
The size of the violin bow should correspond to the size of the violin. Using a bow that is too long or too short for the arm length and violin size will make it difficult to play correctly. The only exception is for ⅞ violins. These will use a 4/4 full size bow.
Benefits of Violin Rental for Young Violinists
As you can see, there are many different sizes of violin that your child could play depending on how young they begin learning the instrument. Violin rentals are an excellent choice for the growing violinist. You can upgrade the violin as your child grows and avoid the high costs of purchasing a new one every year or two.
Violin Rentals from CIOMIT
CIOMIT gives you so many perks when you sign up for our Rent+ program. With this month-to-month rental program, your student can exchange instruments as many times are they want/need with no penalties. You can also accrue up to 18 months of rental credit, and extra discounts towards the purchase of a brand new instrument when they have grown into a full size 4/4 violin. Visit the website to learn more or to get started with a violin rental today!