violin sizing question

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Lisa Hansen said: Apr 11, 2010
Lisa Hansen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
21 posts

I have an adult student with very tiny hands. She was playing on a 7/8th size, but was still having difficulty stretching a whole step between the 2nd & 3rd finger (and sometimes the 3rd & 4th). We decided to try her on a 3/4 size violin. That made the whole step problem easier, but because her fingertips are on the larger size, the 3/4 size made it more difficult to place a finger on just ONE string at a time (double stops are a challenge). When she returned her 7/8th to the luthier, they discovered it had a full size neck, so she borrowed a different 7/8th size violin with an appropriately sized neck. It’s a little easier, but still difficult for her to reach a whole step between 2 & 3. What to do? Any advice? Should I have her investigate having a special violin made for her that is a 3/4 size, but has a 7/8 sized neck? Has anyone dealt with this before?
Thanks for your time,
Lisa

Ruth Brons said: Jun 10, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

While I have not dealt with this problem before, I think I have dealt with the opposite.
Each time I have ever bought a viola, I have had the luthier shave the neck a little thinner and re-groove the nut to space the strings a little closer together. So it may well be possible for a luthier to ever so slightly spread the strings apart by adjusting the grooves in the nut, which may help with the double stop issues for your student.

Best Wishes,

Ruth Brons
Bow Hold Buddies Bow Hold Accessories
http://www.things4strings.com

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