Cello Size Guide

If you are buying a cello from Duet Shop, for either yourself or your child, you will want to make sure you choose the right size cello. To help we have put together a simple guide.

Teacher Recommendation:

The first port of call when finding out what cello size you need is to check with a music teacher. Most of the time a teacher will measure the pupil and note which cello size is required. You should always go with the size recommended by the teacher. If you do not have a teacher recommended size read on to find out how to get the size yourself.


The first simple method you can use to determine the size of the cello you will need is to use the cellos themselves.

  • Start sat down with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Hold onto the cello and check that the upper rim of the cello rests on the sternum (the breast bone) and the curve (the lower bout corner) touches the left knee
  • The neck of the cello should sit a few inches from the left shoulder and the lowest tuning peg should be by the left ear.
  • If the cello is the right size the player should also be able to reach both sides of the fingerboard comfortably.

Don't worry if you do not have access to a variety of cellos, there are a number of simple ways to find out which size you will need.


Whilst there will be some exceptions to the rule, generally age is a great indicator of the size cello required. In the table below you will find the size of cello recommended for the age of the player.
However, to ensure you get the best size cello we do also recommend that you measure the height, arm length, or finger span of the the player.


Measuring the height of the player can easily give you the size cello you will need. Measure the height of the player whilst they are standing upright with good posture. You can find the size cello they will need for their height in the table below.

Arm Length:

You can also find the right size cello by using the simple but accurate method of measuring the arm of the player. This is easily done by measuring, with a yard stick or measuring tape, from the shoulder joint to the tip of the middle finger. Once you have your measurement use our table below to find which size cello will be best for you.

Finger Span:

Another method you can use is to measure the players finger span. To do this the player should extend their fingers and measure from the tip of the index finger to the little finger. Once you have your measurement use our table below to find the best cello size.

Arm Length
Finger span
Cello Size
 16" and under 3' and under 2.5"-3" 1/10 4-5
16"-18" 3'-3'6"  3" 1/8  5-6
18"-20" 3'6"-4'  3"-4" 1/4 6-7
20"-22" 4'-4'6"  4"-5" 1/2 8-10
22"-24"  4'6"-5' 5"-6" 3/4 11-13
24"+  5'+  6"+ 4/4 Full Size  14+

Still Unsure?

If you have followed all the steps above and are still unsure of what size cello you should get contact the Duet Shop team and we can help!

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