A Guide to Fiddle and Violin Size

Fiddles and violins come in a variety of different sizes. But how do you determine which violin size is right for you?

Fiddles and violins are available in 8 different sizes:

  • 4/4 or Full Size
  • 3/4
  • 1/2
  • 1/4
  • 1/8
  • 1/10
  • 1/16
  • 1/32

Size 4/4 is the biggest and size 1/32 is the smallest. All adults, regardless of their size, play using a size 4/4 fiddle or violin.

fiddle sizes

How to Measure Correctly 

To measure which size is best for you, you need to know the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm (when your hand is fully extended and raised perpendicular to your body, just like holding a fiddle).

Most teachers prefer students to use the length from the neck to the wrist for measurement instead of the neck to mid-palm approach. The violin size determined by the neck/wrist approach would be the size that is more comfortable for students to hold. Whereas the size determined by the neck/mid-palm approach would be the biggest size students should use.

If you have a fiddle or violin teacher, you should ask for your their recommendation. If you don’t, we would recommend using the neck/wrist approach for students not yet using full size.

For students who are deciding whether to used size 3/4 or size 4/4, use the neck/mid-palm approach. It’s always better that young students feel comfortable holding and playing the fiddle.

However, while deciding between size 3/4 and size 4/4, if neck/mid-palm approach allows for full size violin, then buying a size 4/4 may be the more economical option. You won’t have to buy yet another larger size instrument later. This is merely economical consideration however. Comfort is key and should still dictate what best suits your needs.

Violin Size Measurements

The following table lists the length in inches of each violin and fiddle size. Find the length using your preferred approach, and use that to determine which sized instrument to buy.

Violin Size 4/4


3/4 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/10 1/16 1/32
23″ 22″ 20″ 18.5″ 16.5″ 15″ 14″ 13″


To learn more about fiddles and violins why not check out The Irish Fiddle Buying Guide. You can also view my full range of Irish fiddles in my online store.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Join Our Mailing List

Get all the latest Irish music news right in your inbox!