Choosing the right size cello, violin or viola can be tricky, especially if you’re not musical yourself or you’re buying in bulk for your school. That’s why we’ve put together these size charts to ensure you pick the right size.

Size Matters.

Height, Arm Length, and Finger Span Guideline for the Cello

Measure height while standing upright with good posture.

Measure arm length from the shoulder joint to the tip of the middle finger.

Measure finger span by extending the fingers as if playing in first position, then measuring from the tip of the index finger to the tip of the little finger.

Height Arm Length Finger Span Cello Size
4’–4’6″ 20″–22″ 4″–5″ 1/2
4’6″–5′ 22″–24″ 5″–6″ 3/4
5′ + 24″ + 6″ + 4/4




Sizing Chart For a Viola

Age 9–12 14″ viola   Arm length 22¼”–23⅝”   14″
Age 11–13 15″ Viola   Arm length 23⅝”–25″   15″
Age 12–14 15½”–16″ Viola   Arm length 26″–27″   15½”
Age 14 + 15½”-16½” Viola   Arm length 27½”–28″   16″-16½”




Arm Measurement Guide For a Violin

Have the player extend their left arm completely straight (but not overextended) with no bend in the elbow or wrists. Measure 1) from the base of the neck to the centre of the palm, and 2) from the base of the neck to the wrist.

Measurement 1 (neck to palm) indicates the largest size the player could use.

Measurement 2 (neck to wrist) indicates the most appropriate and comfortable size for the player.

20⅜”–22¼” 1/2
22¼”–23⅝” 3/4
23⅝” + 4/4 (Full Size)




Approximate Age Guide for all String Instruments

Age 8–11 1/2
Age 10–12 3/4
Age 12 + 4/4 (Full Size)

About the author

Shona joined the Website & Marketing Team in September 2017 after graduating from university in Sport Science and Management. She is enjoying being part of the team and learning more about the world of Normans and Music. Shona played the clarinet at school but you're more likely find her belting out a Little Mix track these days; doing her very own Carpool Karaoke.