If you’re printing out music or ukulele tabs, or going to a class where they hand out sheets, you’re going to want a music stand. Craning your neck to look at your music or propping it up on a chair (only to have it slide down mid-strum) just isn’t going to cut it in the long run.
There’s a wide range of music stands available, with something to suit everyone’s budget and needs. Let’s take a look at the best ones on Amazon:
The On Stage Folding Music Stand is an affordable option available in a range of colours, including chrome, black, blue, green, pink, purple, and red (some colours have different prices). The carry bag is a very useful accessory that not all cheaper stands will come with. 85% of the nearly 1000 reviews (at the time of writing) are 4 or 5 star. Happy reviewers comment on the portability (so great for taking to ukulele class or if you need to store it in a different room to where you practice), and despite its light weight (2.5lbs/1.13kg), most note that it is sufficiently durable.
The most important criticism to note is that it is really only for light sheets of music, rather than books. If you’ve bought a book to learn from, or are likely to, have a look at one of the other stands.
This is another relatively cheap stand with a super-handy carry bag. The Crafty Gizmos music stand has 90% 4-5 star reviews, and unlike the On Stage stand, it is capable of holding books of music. Reviewers particularly note the spring-loaded arms which are able to hold books open to the required page. It is also lightweight enough (1.7lbs /0.77kg) to carry easily, while still feeling relatively stable.
Critical reviews largely comment that this stand is not as sturdy as desired. With these lightweight stands, there is of course a trade-off in that they can be pushed over fairly easily (such as by the wind), so if this is a concern, a heavier stand might be needed.
The other criticism is that the ledge your music sits on is only approximately one inch wide – this may not be wide enough for large binders or thick music books. Consider your needs and what you’ll want to put on it at any one time.
To contrast with the previous two suggestions, this Musician’s Gear stand is much sturdier and will hold plenty of weight and bulk in music books. The stand has 86% 4-5 star reviews and the majority of reviewers are very satisfied with their value for money.
Weighing in at 6.1 pounds (2.76kg), this stand is also lighter and thus more portable than the other heavier-weight stands reviewed below. A few reviewers still describe this stand as flimsy, which might reflect their expectations for a music stand. Amusingly, there are completely contrasting reviews in terms of “Easy to assemble!” and “Difficult to assemble!” – maybe this is more to do with skill than product??
The Gearlux Collapsible Solid Top stand is another sturdier stand with 89% 4-5 star reviews. Several reviewers describe being able to use this stand outside without fear of it tipping over, and at 6.9lbs (3.12kg) it is a pretty substantial stand. It is able to hold large and heavy music books, and the stand is magnetic so you are able to use magnets to stick your music sheets to it. Several reviewers also describe laying the top horizontally to use as a laptop stand.
The most frequent complaint seems to be that some purchasers have broken their stands at the tightening knob, so be mindful of this if you purchase the Gearlux. Also, this stand does not come with a carry case, which would be a useful addition if you are going to be transporting it out of the house regularly.
Overall, however, the reviews are glowing, and this stand looks like a good, solid purchase for adult or child users alike.
This Manhasset stand has a whopping 95% 4-5 star reviews (of over 850 reviews at the time of writing). Manhassets are high quality stands (some describe them as the best stands you can buy), and many reviewers comment glowingly on this aspect. The Manhasset Model #48 is of course fully capable of holding heavy music books.
Most important to note, however, is that this is not a collapsible, portable stand – hence why it is so sturdy and durable. Make sure you have somewhere it can live happily as it isn’t one you can fold up and tuck away when you’ve finished practicing. At 7.6 pounds (3.44kg) it’s starting to get up there in weight, but is not formidable if you do need to move it. Critical reviews seem to relate to missing parts when the package was received, or what sound to be faulty products.