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.
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.


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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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String Basics Book 3 Double Bass

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$ 21.95

String Basics – Steps to Success for String Orchestra is a comprehensive and impressive resource for those learning the String Bass (or Double Bass) at grade 3 level and beyond. Written by award-winning authors, this book covers the essentials for this level, as well as including a wealth of digital and interactive resources.


Book 3 for String Bass introduces independent instrument tuning, then the critical review section prepares students for unfamiliar major and minor keys, the chromatic scale and advanced note and rhythm combinations. Students will experience all this before practising a number of vibrato development exercises specifically designed for ensembles. Shade and Woolstenhulme have managed all this while keeping the content interesting and engaging, using technical exercises together with a diverse range of classical and cultural music.

The String Basics series is widely-acclaimed for its use of practical activities, world music, classical themes as well as original compositions. All of these features combine to help students learn the fundamental and advanced tenets of playing a stringed instrument in an orchestra. This book, for the String Bass, contains step-by-step instructions where necessary to make everything as clear as possible, as well as full-colour photographs enabling the student to see exactly how it should be done. Not only this, but the duets, rounds, trios and orchestra arrangements enhance the student’s ability to play in a wide variety of settings with different numbers of fellow musicians.

As with all books in the String Basics series, the Interactive Practice Studio is included, which is accessible on any Windows or Mac computer and contains a fun and inspiring mix of biography, history, photography, audio and video to enhance learning. A DVD is also included featuring lessons taught by the authors in a classroom setting making this book perfect for students and teachers alike.

String Basics Book 3 by award-winning authors Terry Shade, Jeremy Woolstenhulme, and Wendy Barden, continues with a strong pedagogy and step-by-step sequences of instruction preparing students for grade 3 performance literature and beyond. Book 3 opens with independent instrument tuning, then a critical review section allows students to be prepared for shifting & position work, new major & minor keys, the chromatic scale, and advanced note values & rhythm combinations. All are reinforced with technical exercises and a wide sampling of classical and cultural music. Book 3 concludes with vibrato development exercises specially designed for heterogeneous classrooms. Like with all String Basics method books, Book 3 features the popular Interactive Practice Studio and Interactive Teacher Studio, accessible on any Windows or Mac computer. Each student book and Teacher's Edition comes with a DVD containing video lessons and accompaniment Practice Tracks (also provided in the IPS and ITS).
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