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  • Mike Spremulli

How to select the perfect Cello Size.

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

If your child has come home after a presentation from the orchestra director saying he/she has been chosen to play the cello, you're probably wondering where to start. Do I rent a cello? Should I buy a cello? What size cello does my child need? You probably won't be too surprised to learn that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to renting a cello. Like with violins and violas, you need the right sized cello for your age, shape, and height.

Cellos are measured by the length of the back, from the full-sized cello of 30 inches or more intended for adults measuring more than 5' tall, to 1/8 cellos designed for children between four and six years old. If we don't have your head spinning quite yet, hang on! Different manufacturers make cello sizes (supposed to be the same size) at slightly different lengths, but they will fall within a few inches of each other. The most important thing is comfort and practicality.

If you are between two different sizes, you'll likely be more comfortable with the smaller instrument. The best way to find out what works is to visit us to try one out, but as a rule of thumb, take note of the following different ways to measure cello sizes. (note: We suggest measuring your child "CELLO SIZE BY PLAYER HEIGHT" method).

To try your cello for size, find a chair, and sit up straight (make sure your feet are touching the floor), set the endpin of the cello to around 12 inches in length. Let the cello rest against your chest at about a 45-degree angle. The top of it must rest at the center of the chest, and the C string peg must be near the left ear.

CELLO SIZE BY AGE RANGE

1/8 - 4-6 years

1/4 - 5-7 years

1/2 - 7-11 years

3/4 - 11-15 years

4/4 - 15 and above

CELLO SIZE BY PLAYER HEIGHT

1/8 - 1/4 Below 4 feet

1/2 - 4 - 4 1/2 feet

3/4 - 4 1/2 - 5 feet

4/4 - 5 feet and above

CELLO SIZE BY INSTRUMENT BACK LENGTH

1/8 - 17.75 - 20 inches

1/4 - 20 -23 inches

1/2 - 23 - 26 inches

3/4 - 26 - 27.25 inches

7/8 - 27.25 - 30 inches

4/4 - 30 inches and above

Renting a cello from us is an inexpensive way to allow your child to start on a well adjusted, high-quality instrument. With a few hundred options, the online purchase of a cello (in my opinion) is not the smartest idea. I'm a firm believer that the worst reason for a child to become discouraged and ultimately quit is due to starting on a poor quality, or poorly set up instrument. With the cost of a rental cello costing less per month than many people spend on lunch or a bottle of wine, getting a great quality, student rental is the smarter choice! We rent cellos from top manufacturers like Eastman, Knilling, and Canzona. So, you can be sure, you're going to get a great sounding instrument that's been properly set up and is ready for your child to learn!