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 VIOLINS

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

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String Gym (Stephen Chin) for String Orchestra

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SIZE GUIDE

A Collection of Fifty Etudes and Pieces for the Beginning String Orchestra

Grade : 0.5 – 1.0 (largely Primary B with some pieces suitable for Primary A)

Instrumentation : Vln1, Vln2, Vln 3/Vla, Vlc, Bass, Piano Accompaniment & Advanced Vln, Vla, Vlc A CD of the piano accompaniment of all 50 etudes and pieces is included.

38 Etudes and 12 Pieces as follows:

1. Breathing at the Seaside, 2. Breathing in the Alps, 3. Criss-Cross Drag Bikes, 4. Flying Fox Fun, 5. Open String Tango, 6. Carillon, 7. Première Valse, 8. Tai Chi, 9. Tricky Monkeys, 10. Fire Eater, 11. Tristesse, 12. Beach Buggy Boogie

String Gym has been developed to introduce the beginning string orchestra to a wide range of skills which form a strong foundation for successful ensemble playing at all levels. The collection comprises 50 pieces - 38 Etudes and 12 pieces. It is the result of many years of teaching all the string instruments and directing string ensembles at all levels. All of the etudes have been carefully sequenced and are tabled in a page that can be easily referred to by the conductor. The 12 pieces that follow use many of the skills that have been developed in the Etudes. Some of the features of String Gym are listed below:

• The first 15 Etudes and the first 5 Pieces use either open strings or harmonics

• All the Etudes and the Pieces 1-5 and 12 have teacher's or advanced students accompanying parts which can be played on either piano, violin, viola, cello or double bass. • The accompaniments are attractively written in a range of styles with the view to make a strong musical impression on younger players. The bowing of accompanying string parts are often matched to the tutti parts.

• All of the Etudes and Pieces may be presented in a concert situation in any order. Some may also be played straight after

• Minor keys feature to give students a different aural experience from the outset.

• Some salient features of the Etudes are: (i) the reading of notes and rests. (ii) familiarisation of all the open strings and associated harmonics. (iii) use of both 4/4 and 3/4. (iv) Octave tuning to establish the left-hand frame. (v) Tuning exercises devised so that half the orchestra takes turns in playing open string whilst the other half tune. (vi) bowing skills including sustained strokes, slurs, hook stroke, retakes, bowing divisions, staccato and spiccato.

Level 1 Curriculum IM Strings - DET EQ. 

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