Why buy a music stand?
All musicians and singers, no matter how experienced they are, use sheet music and scores for practicing and performing. A music stand is a specialty pedestal, stand, or rack with some holder or grip attached to the top to hold and display sheet music. This allows musicians to place their sheet music or musical score at eye level to read and follow along while keeping their hands free. Since few instruments can be played one-handed, this makes music a handy tool in musicians’ arsenals, whether they’re playing the drums, guitar, violin, cello, or any other musical instrument. While singers generally have their hands free as they sing, plenty choose to use music stands, too.
What should you look for in a music stand?
- Height: A music stand should be tall enough for you to read your sheet music comfortably without craning your head and neck. Consider if you’re sitting or standing while playing or singing, and pick your music stand’s height accordingly. Don’t forget to consider how high the holder or grip reaches, not just the overall height of the stand, since that’s where your sheet music or score will sit. If you’re unsure, look for a model that is height adjustable.
- Holder: The most common holder is a bookplate-type holder, which is like a vertical tray that your sheet music or book can rest back against while upright. These are suitable for any music you might need; make sure it’s tall and wide enough to support your sheet music or score properly. They may also come equipped with a small shelf, a useful place to stash pencils, spare guitar picks, and other small musical accessories. Also, consider that the holder may be solid or have gaps or holes. It may even be collapsible for more compact storage in some cases.
- Material: Metal is the most common choice for music stands, but there are a decent number of wooden options if you want a more classical look. Both are strong, durable, and long-lasting materials. If you opt for a metal model, aluminum is your best bet because it’s strong and stable yet not as heavy as other metals for superior portability. If you want a wooden music stand, go for hardwood like cherry, oak, or walnut since they’ll be nice and stable and aesthetically pleasing. Remember that wooden models are much less likely to be collapsible and height-adjustable. Plastic and wire stands are available, too. However, they aren’t as durable as metal or wood.
What are extra features worth considering in a music stand?
For greater portability, look for music stands that fold up or collapse when not in use. Some will even come with their carrying bag. Both of these features also make them more convenient for storage as well. In terms of stability, consider the music stand’s base. Tripod-like bases with three feet are the most common and usually quite sturdy. Regardless of shape, the wider the base, the sturdier the tripod. Metal and wooden music stands will also be more stable and sturdy than other materials. A heavier stand will generally be more stable and less portable so try to strike a balance between the two. Read over the listing carefully to see if you can find the music stand’s maximum weight capacity.
Donner Sheet Music Stand with Light
This all-purpose music stand is height adjustable and comes with a bevy of useful musical accessories.
Pros: This quintessential music stand is the perfect choice for most singers or musicians. Thanks to the two knobs on the neck, you can shrink this stand down to as short as 16.5 inches, as high as 57 inches, or anywhere in between. The wide bookplate, capable of supporting up to 12 pounds of weight, can also be removed and used as a tabletop or desktop stand if needed. It even has its little tabletop kickstand to keep it fully upright. The entire stand compresses and folds down when not in use, including the bookplate, and tucks into the included carrying case for easy portability. Besides the point, this stand comes with extra useful accessories. Most notable is the flexible gooseneck reading light that will help in poorly lit practice rooms or for anyone with poor eyesight. The light clips on and off for easy removal, so you can use it for other purposes besides reading your sheet music. The other accessories include anti-scratch rubber feet for the stand’s legs, a USB cable for charging the reading light, and a clip to hold your sheet music in place.
Cons: Though the legs and neck are from tubular steel, note that the product isn’t made entirely of metal. The bookplate is plastic, so it’s not as strong or durable as the rest of the stand. The tray of the bookplate also attaches to the bottom clips via raised screws, so it’s not 100% flat.
Bottom Line: This highly adjustable music stand has a lot to love. It’s suitable for most singers, and you can even use it for other nonmusical purposes when you’re not playing or practicing.
Klvied Sheet Music Stand with Violin Hanger
Violin players will find this music stand handy thanks to the included violin case and hanger.
Pros: Though this music stand is suitable for most musicians regardless of the instrument they play, it was explicitly designed with violinists in mind. It features a built-in violin hanger that will fit 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 4/4 violins. There’s an accompanying spot for the bow, and the holder can be easily screwed off and removed if you don’t play violin or prefer to stash it in a case instead. Yet even nonviolin players will find this music stand suits their needs equally well. It’s not only height-adjustable—to anywhere between 20.5 and 48.5 inches tall—but you can adjust the bookplate to a 180-degree angle. Each leg features a nonslip rubber cap on the end, which will protect your floors from becoming scratched and help keep the stand stable. A clip-on, adjustable, double-headed reading light for late-night practices, a USB cable for charging it, a paper holder for your music sheets, and a carrying bag for when the stand is folded down are also part of the package. The light is powered by three AAA batteries (not included) and has two different brightness settings.
Cons: The bookplate of this stand is nice and large and deep for even thick, heavy books, but the two built-in clips attached are on the flimsy side. The stand is a combination of metal and plastic rather than pure metal, and the metal bits are prone to rusting over time.
Bottom Line: This is another music stand that will be a great option for singers and musicians, but it’s an especially good option for violin players, thanks to the built-in holder. It can hold up any violin, so you have a convenient place for your instrument and its bow.
ChromaCast GoDpsMusic Music Stand
Affordable, tiltable, and height-adjustable, this music stand and its carrying case is a handy and budget-friendly option.
Pros: If you’re looking for a no-fuss, extremely low-cost music stand, this slender, open-backed model will suit your needs admirably. Most music stands tend to be quite reasonably priced, and this one is even more affordable than most. Yet despite the lower price, it has many of the usual features that make music stands so useful. It is height adjustable between 28 and 52 inches tall, the bookplate is tiltable and adjustable, and it comes with a carrying case for easy transportation. It’s a very lightweight stand too, weighing less than two pounds, further increasing its portability. The built-in sheet music holds are adjustable to better fit and hold different-sized papers.
Cons: Due to its lighter weight and extra-slim frame, this isn’t the most sturdy of music stands; you’ll want to avoid resting heavier music books on it if possible. It also doesn’t include any extra accessories beyond the carrying case.
Bottom Line: Though music stands aren’t super expensive purchases to begin with, this model is especially affordable. It may not be the strongest of music stands, but it’ll do its job admirably without breaking your budget.
On-Stage SM7312W Conductor Music Stand
This wide, wooden music stand was designed specifically with musical conductors in mind.
Pros: Conductors benefit from music stands just as musicians and singers do, and this one was made especially for those who direct orchestras and other live performances. It features an extra big wooden bookplate with a special deep lip. Its size and strength are suitable for supporting even the biggest, bulkiest music books, sheets, and scores. The depth of the lip also makes it a great place to temporarily stash pencils, pens, batons, and even smaller instruments like flutes. The rosewood finish provides an attractive, professional look up on stage, under even the brightest lights. The bookplate can also be tilted to various angles and held firmly in place thanks to the tension-locking knob, while the rubber feet on the tripod-style legs hold the stand steady and protect your floors simultaneously.
Cons: As is often the case with wooden music stands, this model is more expensive than the average music stand. It is height adjustable, albeit with a slightly smaller range than most metal models. There also aren’t any extra accessories included with your purchase despite its higher price tag.
Bottom Line: This particular wooden model and its heavy-duty bookplate was designed with conductors specifically in mind. It’s the perfect blend of strength and aesthetically pleasing.
CAHAYA Sheet Music Stand
If you want something a bit more cute and colorful, this music stand will be right up your alley.
Pros: You don’t have to settle for the classic understated colors of a typical music stand if you don’t want. Besides the standard black color, you can buy this music stand in white or light pink for something more vivid and eye-catching than most. The bookplate is made of metal for greater strength, capable of holding up to 15 pounds of weight at once. It’s also flexible and adjustable, able to tilt backward until it’s parallel with the ground. You can even remove it from the stand and prop it up on a desk or counter as a regular book stand. The page holders are more secure than most to better hold your sheet music and scores in place while you’re playing or singing. Besides the carrying case for when the stand is folded down, it also comes with an extra music sheet clip and a desktop kickstand.
Cons: Though this music stand is height adjustable like most, it doesn’t have as wide a range as others; the minimum height is 31.4 inches, and the maximum height is 55.9 inches, which means it’s not the best for shorter players. The zipper on the carrying case is prone to sticking as well.
Bottom Line: Most music stands remain neutral colored, but what if you want something a little more colorful? That’s where this music stand comes in. It’s stable and reliable with a unique pink model you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Whether you’re just starting lessons or an experienced musician, a good, stable music stand is an absolute must-have. Even if you only play at home for enjoyment and never perform, you’ll still need a reliable place to stash your music sheets so you can follow along.