Playing on an oversized fiddle

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Casey Willis 6 hours, 20 minutes ago.

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  • #18353


    I would like to know how many of you play on a violin that is larger than the standard 14″ body? In finding such an instrument have you strung up a small viola as a violin and used it as a fiddle? It’s something I need to consider for my taller and bigger students who (especially as adult beginners) are really uncomfortable on a 14″ violin? I’d like to also hear from all instructors if you use a standard size or larger. Thank you!

    Laura Gallucci

  • #18354

    Casey Willis

    Hi, Laura.

    I’ve always played a standard 4/4 size violin and haven’t really run into other folks who strung up a viola as a fiddle due to concerns that a 4/4 size box is too small. There are quite a few taller folks out there playing standard sizes…The only item I’ve remarked is that players with longer necks generally end up with a taller shoulder rest to provide stability/keep from having neck problems. All the instructors in this site play 4/4 size instruments…hopefully that’s helpful.



  • #18363


    Casey, are 5 string fiddles typically still 4/4 fiddle size, or are they larger? I’ve promised myself that if I practice hard and improve I can get myself a 5 string one day. I used to play viola so I miss that C string.


    • #18364

      Casey Willis

      Hi, Andrea.

      A typical 5-string Fiddle is a regular 4/4 body with a slightly wider neck to accommodate the extra string. There are some 5-string violas, but the tone of these instruments is generally different/lower than a standard fiddle. Best of luck as you search…make sure to play before you purchase as it’s the rare box that includes both a strong C and non-tinny E string. Keep us posted!


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