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String Instrument Sizing Guide
This guide is intended to give you a rough idea of the size of instrument your or your child will require. Please note that this is a rough guide only. For best results, you should consult with our string experts or your teacher before purchasing or renting.
THIS IS A GENERAL GUIDE ONLY
One of the most important tasks we find ourselves undertaking at Simply for Strings is to size a student for their instrument. Whilst we always check sizing when you purchase an instrument, it is also important to talk to your teacher first about their thoughts on the appropriate size instrument. It is important to remember that we always err on the side of caution when it comes to instrument sizing. Unlike clothes, you cannot ‘grow into’ an instrument. If the instrument is too large then you will find yourself in severe pain when practising or performing. This often leads to a decrease in practice (and interest), which inevitably leads to the player choosing to forgo learning an instrument. Play pain-free and start with the right size violin, viola, cello or double bass from Simply for Strings.

Measuring Guide for Violin & Viola

Measure in centimeters from the neck to the middle of the palm.

SIZING FOR VIOLNS

Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

SIZE OF VIOLIN MEASUREMENT (CM) AVERAGE AGE OF CHILD
1/16 35 - 38 CM 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 39 - 42 CM 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 43 - 46 CM 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 47 - 51 CM 6 -7 YRS
1/2 52 - 56 CM 7 - 8 YRS
3/4 57 - 60 CM 9 - 11 YRS
4/4 > 60 CM 11 - 13+ YRS
SIZING FOR VIOLAS

Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

SIZE OF VIOLIA MEASUREMENT (CM)
12" 53 - 55 CM
13" 55 - 59 CM
14" 59 - 63 CM
15" 63 - 65 CM
15" 1/2 65 - 67 CM
16" >67 CM
SIZING FOR CELLOS

Directions for Measuring: Sizing cellos is slightly more complicated than sizing violins and violas. The student should be seated at the edge of a chair such that the knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle (feet flat on the floor). The upper edge (back of cello near where the neck joins the body) of the instrument should rest in the centre of the chest (on the sternum) and the C peg should be slightly behind the left ear. The knees should lightly grip the lower bouts ensuring that the corners do not dig into the side of legs. (Corners should be slightly above the inside of the knees). The student should be able to reach both ends of the fingerboard with ease. The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

Note: 7/8 size cellos are available as well. This can be a useful transitional size or a more comfortable option for those players who prefer a slightly smaller instrument.

SIZE OF CELLO AGE OF CHILD
1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 6 - 8 YRS
1/2 8 - 10 YRS
3/4 10 - 12 YRS
4/4 12 - 13+ YRS
SIZING FOR DOUBLE BASSES

Directions for Measuring: The 3/4 size double bass is the standard size for adults. 7/8 size basses and 4/4 sizes basses are made but they are less commonly used. As a rough guideline, when both the bass and the player are standing upright, the bridge should be approximately at the same height as the large knuckles of the student's right hand. The most important issue is that the instrument is comfortable and that the student can reach the higher registers of the fingerboard without difficulty.
The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

SIZE OF BASS AGE OF CHILD
1/16 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 7 YRS
1/4 7 - 9 YRS
1/2 9 - 13 YRS
3/4 13+ YRS

Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow
Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow
Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow
Load image into Gallery viewer, Arcus S5 Cello Bow

Arcus S5 Cello Bow

Regular price
$2,295.00
Sale price
$2,295.00
SKU:3bowarcusS5
SIZE GUIDE

  • Just like its more expensive siblings, the S5 makes playing the cello much more comfortable and also a little easier. It bounces just perfectly and has the ideal elasticity to match the 21st Century strings. Its sound is clear and focused with very good articulation and fast response.
  • Round or octagonal stick, depending on importer availability
  • Weight 68 grams approx.
  • Sterling silver winding and mounting 
  • Snakewood frog
  • Genuine, fine quality horsehair
Read our practical guide to buying a bow here, and read more about our brands here.

Too many cellists sooner or later experience discomfort or even pain in their right thumb, wrist or elbow. The strong forces and vibrations of a cello bow can lead to many different complications.

By changing to an Arcus bow, the lower mass and the “missing” low frequency vibrations result in a total relief and relaxation of the bow arm. This doesn’t only feel good for the musician, but is also visible and audible to a knowledgeable auditorium. The instant response and the beautiful and strong sound affords flexible and easy playing with plenty of freedom in the interpretation.

The S-bows with round sticks are the primary choice for the majority of cellists. Their low mass enables greater agility over the strings, while at the same time they feel stable. Their sound is brilliant and full of fascinating colors. The octagonal S-bows are more agile and lively. With a mass of only about 68 grams, these bows are vastly more maneuverable than any “normal” cello bow. Their much stronger sticks make it possible to use the full potential of all modern strings with either steel or synthetic cores.

Simply for Strings' team of professional players and teachers hand-select each bow to exacting criteria, including examining the hair, camber of the bow and the bow's ability and sound across different techniques.

S5 Specifications

  • Mountings: Sterling Silver
  • Eye: Silver Ring
  • Lapping: Silver/Black
  • Weight: 68 grams
  • Shape: Round and octagonal, depending on importer availabilty. 

About Arcus Bows:

Round or Octagonal

In contrast with the solid sticks of wooden bows, the round and octagonal shapes of Arcus sticks give them specific characteristics. The complex cross section of the octagonal sticks is a result of their round inside. This makes them play in a more agile and lively way. The round sticks have a very regular cross section, which gives them a very even and steady feel. Every player should try both versions to find the best match for their own style of playing.

Pure Carbon Shaft

Arcus have found a unique way to produce bow shafts that contain the absolute minimum of epoxy but the maximum amount of carbon fiber. This provides a pure carbon surface that is warm and soft to the touch and gives a perfectly secure grip. It is also scratch proof, and playing “col legno” does no harm to the stick.

Hollow Stick

Arcus bows are hollow with a thin wall (just like instruments), and so vibrate much more freely than any with a solid core. It is probably the most difficult way of making a bow, but it provides an unmatched clarity of sound, response and projection.

Handmade in Germany

All Arcus bows are entirely made in Germany, with all the love and skills developed with over more than a decade now. The engraving is made using a small computer controlled machine. Everything else is made completely by hand, from the lamination of the stick to the cutting of the wedges which fix the hairs in place.

Traditional Rehair

One thing Arcus bows have in common with historical bowmaking is the hair they use for their bows. Arcus haven’t found a material that is better suited to holding the rosin and grabbing the strings than natural horse hair. Arcus also use traditional wooden wedges to mount the hair, so that every repair shop can easily rehair an Arcus bow.

High End Carbon Fiber Composite

Arcus use carbon fiber materials that are made to exacting specifications. They come from a leading maker in Europe who provides similar qualities to the designers of space crafts, America Cup yachts, Formula One race cars and many others where quality is more important than price.

Long Life Bearings

On traditional bows the screw is only supported by the wood of the shaft, which will wear out with normal use. Arcus use bearings made from a special aluminum-silicon alloy for each bows. These are designed to last forever, and the screw will always turn smoothly and lightly.

Titanium Underslide

All silver and gold-mounted Arcus bows come with a titanium underslide. The combination of this, together with the carbon shaft, gives the most durable fit between frog and stick.

Snakewood Frogs

This wood makes a beautiful contrast with the silvery-grey shade of the shaft. It is also stronger than ebony and the ideal transmitter of vibrations between the shaft and the bowhair.

The Series and Classification

Arcus have designed specific lines of bows, like the S- and M-Series, for every type of instrument, violin, viola, cello and bass. They differ in their resiliency/ stiffness, in their weight, their tuning, feel and play. By choosing different types of fibers and changing their quantity and orientation, Arcus are able to modify the properties of the sticks. This is one of the unique advantages of composites over uniform materials like wood or metal.

After molding the sticks, Arcus first check that they do indeed meet the designated properties for weight, balance and resiliency. The next step is rather special: Arcus classify the bow sticks by assessing their sound quality. The differences between sticks made from the same material, by the same hands and in the same process are quite amazing, but can easily be confirmed by playing the finished bows in direct comparison. There are substantial variations in their response, their sound colors, overtones, sweetness and power.

Arcus basic class-3 bows will already outperform pretty much every other composite bow. The class-4 bows are a match for very high quality wood bows. The finest wood bows we have ever experienced in competition with an Arcus bow could sometimes equal a class-5, but rarely a class-6 bow. The 7- to 9-category bows pull a sound sweeter and more powerful than anything else ever put to a string.

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