Even the most expensive music stands won’t do it. Cheap is a relative term. All sheet music stands can be purchased for as low as $10.00, provided you do not go into the world of custom lathe woodworking or diamond-encrusted nonsense.
The plastic threading and hinges mean that the bottom rungs will break.
We’ll talk about the features you want in your music stand and I will then give you a few suggestions.
It’s not difficult to make a mistake, provided you are in the same ballpark as I am. It’s not worth regretting a purchase that can last a lifetime.
Fortunately, and horribly for you, I have used a lot of these. These things are all my expertise. I can buy and break useless ones, lend, lose, and even steal nice ones. I was exposed to many other options after taking college jazz classes.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Let me start by briefly mentioning a few things you might be interested in, and then I will jump straight into the reviews for each type of stand.
Things to consider when purchasing
It would seem so easy to think that there weren’t many factors to consider in such a simple task. If you don’t follow this guideline, you will regret it.
WEIGHT & CENTER of GRAVITY
Music stands can hold sheet music on loose leaf paper, or in light books. These are the most sloppy and made of hollow plastic tubes. This should be avoided at all costs. A good sheet music stand should weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.
It’s made from metal, so you can use magnets for your sheets. The base is heavy enough to have a low center gravity.
The wire-based ones are lighter than the others, which is fine. However, I don’t like them because they can bend and blow through your sheets, sending them flying.
This is crucial because your stand shouldn’t tip over during a performance, practice or rehearsal. Stability is directly linked to the base of your stand. Rare music stands with a round base are rare, but they are not here.
They will tip over, or rock around if they are bumped into. It’s normal, and it means that your sheet music will blow through the wind and get out of order in the worst possible moment.
A tripod base with three legs is what you want. Although there are many tripod bases that don’t have collapsible legs, I believe it is worth the extra cost.
MUSIC STAND ACCESSORIES
You can buy a variety of cool accessories to attach to your stand. Although they are not essential to the stand’s operation, they can be useful and fun additions that will make your stand more efficient.
MUSIC STAND LIGHTS
This is essential for performances and practices in dark areas that you cannot control the lighting. Many orchestral performances in theater often take place below the stage, and to the side that doesn’t allow bright light to shine out.
These can save your life. The Kootek light currently has the best music stand light.
Depending on the instrument you use and where you perform, headphones might be worn almost all day. It’s great to take them off if you have the time, and it’s even better to not let someone else step on them.
Clip-on headphones hangers make it easy to keep your headphones from falling on your lap, chair or the ground. They will be easy to find when you need them.
P.S. These cup holders can also be found. These are great for anyone who plays a brass instrument or wind instrument.
Clip them in the middle of your body or lower to keep your center of gravity from moving too high.
Some music stands have two shelves so that you can keep pencils, your cello bow, and your phone separate. One of these Hamilton Double Shelf Stands was a gift for a friend. He used it in his office to teach guitar lessons. The extra shelf was filled with extra pencils and pens, granola bars or bananas, as well as other random stuff.
You can get trays or standalone shelves like the Manhasset second Shelf. However, it is up to you if you want it match your stand’s width. They are plastic and inexpensive enough that it won’t matter if it falls apart.
These Dicon trays with hanging handles are my favorite. You can store a metronome or a tuner and everything else without it getting in the way.
This is it. Let’s take a look at the music stands I think are the best in each category. Although there are many good options for each type of music, it is not that difficult. You’re likely to want a recommendation to help you get the job done. So we’ll just limit it my personal favorites.
I will list it if it is listed. I have used it, so I can tell you it’s good.
The Best Music Stands
We’ll start by looking at the most common and then move on to the more unusual.
These terms are often misused on the internet by people who mix and match them as if it doesn’t matter. If you go on your search beyond these options, be aware.
Note : Every image and text link takes you to Amazon.com, where you can read additional reviews and find technical details listings and make your purchase.
Let’s start with my favorite style and then look at some less-common styles.
- Favorite LedgerNote
BEST COLLAPSIBLE MUSICAL STAND
When people think of a sheet music stand, they usually think of it as collapsible. This simply means that the top portion of the table can collapse and the tripod feet can collapse inward, so it can be stored in a corner or closet without taking up too much space. These are the strongest.
The On-Stage stand is my favorite. It’s been with me for a long time and can take a beating unlike any other stand I have used. It’s also a great height because the center of gravity is lower than the maximum height. This gives it less chance of tipping if it gets bumped.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON Built like a tank to last forever
BEST FOLDING MUSIC STAND
These are great because they fold up. Like… big time. The tripod feet can be folded up, the steel tube stand can be taken down and the sheet holder section can then be folded up to 1/5th of its open size. You can then slide it into its bag.
Although the table portion is made of plastic, it’s quite thick and reinforced. It has never been damaged by a doofus. This Peak folding stand is a good choice if you are looking for something portable. You might also like the one just below it.
Maximizing Folding Capabilities
BEST PORTABLE MUSICAL STAND
If you prefer to have one stand and not several, the Hamilton Traveler I stand is a great choice. The Hamilton is solid, but I prefer the collapsible design.
They pay attention to how the table connects with the neck. This is often a problem spot. Steel and reinforced ribbing keep everything safe while you carry it from studio to gigs to practice.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON It’s portable, but still extremely durable
BEST DESKTOP MUSIC STAND
The rubber pads make this desktop stand out from other options. All the other desktops have felt pads. Felt can compress and slide over time, especially if you are using heavier books than paper sheets.
Even with the desktop design, there is no reason to buy something that can bend or break. This is why I love the Proline desktop stand.
Full-Size with Non-Slip Rubber Pads
BEST WIRE MUSIC STAND
Some people prefer a wire-based stand. Some people want a wire-based stand because they know they will be indoors and in a draft-free environment. Others might prefer a heavier, ten-pounder. They have their reasons.
This ChromaCast Stand is my favorite. It’s light, but not round, and it doesn’t bend easily. (It also comes with a bag, decent double lights, and a bag).
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON The Lightest and Easiest to Transport…
These are the best music stands out there
This will let you know my thoughts on music stands. Because a few companies are doing it right, there haven’t been many changes in the market.
I listed the music stands I believe are the best of each brand and type. You can pick the one you like and go about your day.
While you’re at the store, pick up some accessories. These accessories make your life easier, even if you are sitting at your desk wondering what you are doing with your life. Just kidding!