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Orchestra Instrument Sizing Guide

The best way to determine the appropriate size instrument for your beginning student is to follow the recommendation of their orchestra teacher. If you aren't able to consult with your child's director or private teacher, please reference the charts below.

As always, you are welcome you to visit your nearest Schmitt Music store – our staff will be happy to help you select the correct size for your student. Please note: with Schmitt Music's "Better Than Rent" Instrument Trial Purchase program, orchestra size-ups are FREE as your student grows!

Arm measurement
Measure to center of palm

How to size your student:

Violin / Viola: have your student extend their left arm, reaching out to the side (not in front). Do not stretch or strain, but simply reach out parallel to the floor. Measure from the base of the neck to the center of their left-hand palm (see photos above for reference). Cello / Bass: height is the most common measurement used to size a cello or bass. When referring to the chart below, if your child is "on the line" or close in size, please choose the smaller size. It's always easier to play on a smaller instrument!

Violin

Violin Size

Arm Length

Age

1/32

< 14"

3 and younger

1/16

14 - 15"

3 and 4

1/10

15 - 16 1/2"

4 and 5

1/8

16 1/2 - 18 1/4"

5 and 6

1/4

18 1/4 - 20"

6 and 7

1/2

20 - 21 3/4"

7 to 9

3/4

21 3/4 - 23"

9 to 12

4/4

23 - 25"

12 and up

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Viola

Viola Size

Arm Length

Age

11"

18 1/4 - 20"

6 and 7

12"

20 - 21 3/4"

7 to 9

13"

21 3/4 - 23"

9 to 12

14"

23 - 25"

12 and up

15"

25 - 26 1/4"

15.5"

26 1/4 - 27"

16"

27 - 27 3/4"

16.5"

27 3/4" and up

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Cello

Cello Size

Height Range

Age

1/10

< 48"

3 and 4

1/8

48" - 50"

4 and 5

1/4

51" - 54"

5 and 6

1/2

55" - 58"

6 to 8

3/4

59" - 62"

10 to 12

.4/4

64" and up

12 and up

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Bass

Bass Size

Height Range

Age

1/10

48" - 50"

4 and 5

1/8

51" - 54"

5 to 7

1/4

55" - 58"

7 to 9

1/2

59" - 62"

9 to 13

3/4

63" and up

13 and up

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Contact An Instrument Specialist