Choosing the right music stand is perhaps more involved than it might seem at first glance. Different stands are good for different purposes. A heavy gauge Manhasset music stand is fantastic for rehearsing in a stationary school setting. But its weight and bulk make it nearly impossible to lug around on gigs.
On the other hand as flutists, we often practice standing up. Some of the lightest weight, portable stands are unstable while fully extended with heavy sheet music books. But that same stand can be a great solution if you primarily use it while sitting.
Music stands also occupy a fairly wide price spectrum. Some of the stands on our list cost less than many books of sheet music. As a rule, if you’re looking for something for occasional use on gigs, a lightweight cheaper solution will likely do fine.
The five music stands we have chosen for review are high quality, durable and time-tested designs. Ultimately many flutists will opt to purchase multiple stands for the different requirements of home, work and gigging out.
The good news is that all of the designs we list offer fantastic value. So whichever stand you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
Music Stand Reviews
Here are our reviews of the best music stands in 2017.
Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand Review
The Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand is among the most widely used music stands in the world. That fact alone should tell you a lot. The band room stalwart features an ultra-durable construction that you can expect to last literally decades.
Anyone who’s spent any time at all in a band or orchestra may be put off by how utterly common and banal these stands are. But their proliferation is for good reason. This is a time-tested design that has proven itself under heavy, real-world use for decades.
The heavy gauge steel construction means the Model 48 can handle whatever you dish out. Use it to hold everything from the heaviest sheet music books to laptop computers. The Model #48’s desk portion can handle almost any weight through the entire range of its motion. It can also support any kind of stand light.
This Manhasset stand is also highly adjustable. The height ranges from 28 to 48 inches and the base swivels from perpendicular to parallel with the floor. It’s also easy to store, occupying a relatively small footprint. The knob free design is super easy to use yet easily strong enough to maintain any position while weighted.
For some, the fact that it does require tools to replace parts may be a slight annoyance. But the sum of this stand is worth more than its steel parts. And it’s available at a price that will make you happy to own one.
The Manhasset Model #48 is the music stand by which all others are measured. You won’t be disappointed. It is also available at a low price that will make you happy to own one. You won’t be disappointed.
- Heavy gauge steel
- Easy to store
- Highly adjustable
- Holds much weight
- Knob free
- Part replacement requires tools
Gearlux Collapsible Solid-Top Orchestra Stand
This Gearlux model is relatively light yet very strong and sturdy. It can easily hold everything from large books of sheet music to even flat screen monitors. It will last a lifetime with minimal care.
The steel desk portion is adjustable through a wide range of positions. The shelf of the desk portion can be set from approximately 24 to 48 inches above the ground. This means almost anyone can use it to sight read sheet music while standing. The wide range of configurations, including the desk portion, means it can handle almost any job.
The steel construction also means the stand is magnetic. This is a great feature for anyone playing outside gigs. Even calm winds can easily blow sheet music off of stands. When fastened with small magnets your sheet music can’t blow away. The stand also completely folds up for easy storage in a trunk or backseat. And it’s very easy to carry.
Some musicians may view the use of plastic joints and adjustment knobs negatively. However, the use of plastic allows for a lightweight, solid product that can be transported much easier than heavier stands.
The Gearlux Orchestra Stand is highly recommended for gigging musicians who want a strong yet portable music stand. The price won’t break the bank, either.
- Built to last
- Lighter yet sturdy
- Steel desk
- Holds a lot
- Wide range of configurations
- Uses plastic components
Coocheer Folding Music Stand & Bag Review
This stand is perfect for musicians on the road a lot. It’s very light relative to other music stands and is adjustable. It also folds into a space compact enough to easily fit in any car.
This Coocheer stand has a number of adjuster knobs to add as much tension as needed. This means objects as heavy as flat screen monitors are easily supported on the stand’s shelf.
The stable tripod design features rubber coated, anti-slip feet – a great feature on polished floors. This stand can hold whatever you put on it without tipping or the bookplate shifting.
The main components are steel and are coated in corrosion resistant paint. This stand should last as long as you need it.
You should know this music stand does use some hard plastic components. But overall it’s very strong and stable that performs as well as you do. And it will be there when you need it for years to come.
You can find the latest on-line price here.
- Highly adjustable bookplate
- Adjustable height
- Anti-slip rubber feet
- Durable construction
- Does use plastic parts
Hamilton KB90 Traveler II Portable Music Stand Review
If you’re a gigging musician who’s on the road a lot The Hamilton KB90 Traveler II will be your new favorite music stand.
The Hamilton KB90 includes a heavy duty travel bag that can be carried by shoulder straps or a handle. This frees up your hands, allowing you to reduce the number of trips to the car while setting up or tearing down.
It’s also designed to be put up and taken down in mere seconds. When you’re on a gig time is money and the general rule for equipment is the simpler the better.
Despite its large, Manhasset Stand-like feel, it folds up to a very compact size. Once in the travel bag, the stand will fit in almost any car, no matter how packed with gear.
This is perhaps the most solid of the lightweight stands. It uses tube frame steel and hard plastic. This gives it both the look and functionality of much heavier stands while still being effortlessly portable. It also features a magnetic bookplate. That’s an invaluable feature for securing sheet music while playing outdoors.
The bookplate is also of the full-size, solid-backed variety. Unlike more skeletal stands you won’t have to worry about the Hamilton swaying or buckling under a heavy load.
Some users don’t like that the bookplate requires tension be applied through the knobs on every use. But the use of tension knobs also allows for much heavier loads to be carried than with some other stands.
The Hamilton KB90 combines serious portability with serious usability. It’s great for the gigging professional that will move your playing forward without setting your wallet back.
You can find the latest price online here.
- Easy assembly
- Can be taken down in seconds
- Comes with travel bag
- Completely folding
- LightweightMagnetic bookplateFull size bookplate
- Bookplate harder to adjust
Crafty Gizmos Adjustable Music Stand Review
Every gigging musician will love The Crafty Gizmos music stand for its ease of portability and sturdiness.
This lightweight stand is built from the ground up with the working musician in mind. It has the strength to easily hold a Real Book but also collapses into a very small package. It even comes with its own carrying bag, something you won’t find in most other stands.
While it does use steel it should be emphasized that this is an ultra light unit compared with other stands. The entire thing can be placed in its bag and easily carried on your arm. Over the course of a year, this can save you tons of time in trips back and forth to your vehicle.
The Crafty Gizmo stand is also highly adjustable and can be used by virtually anyone standing or sitting. The gimbaled bookplate can travel almost 180 degrees vertically and 360 degrees on the horizontal.
It also features spring loaded music holders. These are a particular favorite among musicians who frequently play outdoors. Nothing’s worse than having the pages flip on their own or sheet music flying off-stage.
With this stand, your music stays put. And despite its light build it’s stable enough to hold up even on windy days.
Some may point in objection to the obvious fact that the Crafty Gizmos stand is less sturdy than all-steel competitors that outweigh it by five times. That’s true. But you should also restrict yourself to playing amidst woodwinds, not hurricanes.
Otherwise, you’ll find this to be an outstanding way to hold your sheet music. Considering this is a folding music stand with a bag included, the price makes it a great deal!
- Built for easy transport
- Comes with carrying bag
- Ultra light but sturdy
- Very wide height range
- Highly adjustable bookplate
- Spring loaded music holders
- Less stable than heavy stands