Viola Size Chart

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Finding the Correct Viola Size

With children beginning to play the stringed instruments as young as three years old, finding the right size viola for a growing child or adolescent is extremely important. Arm length and hand size greatly affect one's ability to learn proper technique and muscle memory.

Below is a helpful viola sizing guide with arm and viola measurements. Please call us at 1-800-779-0242 and we can help you find the right instrument. Sizing consultations are always complementary!

Note: Violists generally aim to play the largest viola they physically can as larger violas offer a larger, fuller, and usually better sound.

General Age Guidelines

Note that some age ranges overlap, taking into consideration that players may be shorter or taller for their age.

Age Viola Size*
3–5 1/16 size -1/10th violin strung as viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
5–7 1/8 size violin strung as viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
7–9 1/4 size violin strung "as" viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
8–10 1/2 size violin strung "as" viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
9–12 14" viola
11–13 15" Viola
12–14 15½"–16" Viola
14 and up 15½"-16½" Viola

Measuring Arm Length

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 center 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. 

Arm Measurement Guide

Arm Length
Viola Size*
14"–15⅜" 1/16 size -1/10th violin strung as viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
15⅜"–18½" 1/8 size violin strung as viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
18½"–20⅜" 1/4 size violin strung "as" viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
20⅜"–22¼" 1/2 size violin strung "as" viola (with C, G, D & A strings)
22¼"–23⅝" 14" viola
23⅝"–25" 15" Viola
26"–27" 15½"
27½"–28"+ 16"-16½" Viola

*The following are general and approximate guidelines. For proper fitting for size, students should consult directly with their private instructor or an experienced violist.