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First Violin -- SIZE ??
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New member
October 5, 2013 - 9:51 pm
Member Since: October 5, 2013
Forum Posts: 1
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Gooday from Atlantic Canada, I'm Jim.


Ok, not my first violin... my first is an unused electric 4/4 which I'm selling to buy a cheapie to learn on, and get one for my brother too.


Anyway, SIZE is the question. I know, adults use 4/4, period.... but...

I'm an average 5'6" guy, 23 inch to wrist, but.... I did find in holding the 4/4 that I don't like my arm being stretched out... I want to play with my elbow tucked into my side, and the violin more in front like a fiddle  (easier on my head and eyes... I strain easy).


So, I was thinking maybe a 1/4 size would make those adjustments more normal, rather than trying to figure out a position with a 4/4


Thoughts?  Since I'm starting over, now is the time to figure it out-- and it's not easy for me to get different sizes hands on to try.  So, I'm trying here.


I'll only be buying something like a Medini MV200 or 300, or "maybe" Cecilio CV200.   I'm trying to avoid all the Maple Pegs / loose strings issues.   Depending on what listing you read, those models are supposed to be Rosewood   (KKMusicstore actually lists them as Rosewood in one place, Maple in another... trying to get an answer).


Anyway....  any heps would be appreciated.


Cheers !

Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa

October 5, 2013 - 10:59 pm
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1957
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At 5' 6" you really shouldn't have any problems holding a 4/4. A 1/4 is way too small and sized for a child. They used to make a 7/8 for small women but my daughter who is 4' 10" can play a 4/4 but even with her I wouldn't imagine her with even a 3/4. I would think that you may be holding the violin incorrectly. You have mentioned that you had a 4/4 electric, an electric can be much heavier than an acoustic violin. If you can put up a picture of yourself holding the 4/4 violin we  can tell you if there is a problem there.

Welcome to Fiddlerman


October 6, 2013 - 2:33 pm
Member Since: July 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 966
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1/4 size are for kids probably aged 5 to 9. My daughter used one and just switched to 1/2 size about 1.5 months ago. Her 1/4 size was a cecilio cvn 500, even though I had the bridge and sound post refitted, put dominant strings on it (now I thought it was a waste), it still sounded tiny. you can listen to it and compare the sound of a 1/4 size violin to full size and 1/2 size here:


and under

Fiddle/Violin Repair, Making and Set-up
Big day has come! post 35


Basically, I haven't heard a good 1/4 size violin and it's for kids. I am 5 feet tall with arm length similar to yours, I am using 4/4. I might switch to 3/4 because of my short fingers. I would not go for 1/4.

I would suggest you to lift your elbow and keep your scroll parallel to the floor when you play; that will give your arm a lot more freedom when you play on E strings and on higher registration.

Southern California

October 6, 2013 - 3:33 pm
Member Since: May 13, 2013
Forum Posts: 255
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1/4 size seems awfully small.  I am about the size of a 12 year old, and I have small hands, but I think my fingers would be too big to play such a small instrument (although now I'm going to have to go in and give one a try... just for the fun of it.)

I play a 4/4, and every now and then I'm convinced it's just a little too big... like when I'm trying to play the 4th finger and I am s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to reach.... but with the right position of my elbow I do just fine.

Good luck in your search for the right violin :-)

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 


October 6, 2013 - 4:46 pm
Member Since: July 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 966
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my arm length from neck to center of palm is 23.25 inches and from neck to wrist is

21. 25 inches. I think when you held your violin on your chest, you have less freedom for fingering. If I held it that way, I probably would even have difficulty to play on a 1/2 size.

@ Gynnysg,

 I practice on my daughter's 1/2 size quite often. It is more pleasing to my ears, less loud, and I felt most comfortable on fingering. I only tried on a 3/4 size once, it felt quite a bit smaller than 4/4 but I bet it would be easier for me to play on it since I have very short fingers especially my pinky.

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