I am five foot and 1/2 inch with short fingers, short arms, and a short neck. I have been playing violin for 12 years, and five of those 12, I have been using a 4/4 violin. Recently, I was told that my playing could be less laborious if I switched to a 7/8 or a "smaller" 4/4 violin.
What are your thoughts on this? Mainly, I am concerned about sound production (because I can never seem to produce the sound I want out of my 4/4 violin). But I am also a bit apprehensive about finding a really good quality smaller 4/4 or 7/8 violin, because (I may be mistaken) I don't believe them to be quite as prevalent as regular 4/4 violins. Another issue is that I am really attached to my current 4/4 violin, and it will be extremely hard for me to part with it.
Music is my life profession, so I will need a moderately good violin. Do any of you know if great modern Italian makers (or great modern American makers), or ancient Italian makers who make great 4/4 instruments happen to make smaller 4/4s or 7/8s as well? Which maker can you recommend? I'm looking in the price range of perhaps $10k-$25k. I'm not sure yet, though.
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