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Portable Music Stands


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With the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival looming nigh on the horizon, I wanted to ask your opinions on portable music stands.

 

I'm going to be purchasing one in the next week, and I'm a bit leery of just finding the best looking one on Amazon and buying it.

 

So far, here are the ones I'm looking at:

 

Musician's Gear Heavy-Duty Folding Music Stand Black

 

On-Stage SM7211 Professional Folding Orchestral Music Stand, Black

 

Stagg Professional Heavy Duty Folding Orchestral Music Stand with Adjustable Height - Black Color

 

Hamilton KB90 Traveler II Portable Music Stand

 

Peak SMS-20 Black Tubular Steel Sheet Music Stand with Carry Bag

 

Manhasset 52-MH Voyager Music Stand

 

If anyone has any of these, or have used them in the past, I'd like to know your thoughts on their portability and endurance.

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Have you not got a local music shop where you can try out, fiddle with their stands ? See if they fold small, are sturdy, will adjust to a comfortable height for viewing the page etc.

I bought a really nice stand last year but did not try it with a chair and instrument and when I got it home I realised that it would not go to a low enough position for the Progressive lenes of my glasses! :( I ended up with a pain in the neck after half an hour.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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My music stand doesn't have a decent sized shelf; it's too narrow and loose leaves slide off if they have any curl at all, so you could watch that I suppose, but I just went for the cheapest and I'd probably do it again...

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Reed,

 

These all look fancier and more expensive than what you will need.

I second the idea of going to a music store and looking at the stock.

 

Look for a stand that will fold up to be very small. Look for one where the upper and lower parts do not separate, or you'll need a way to carry the parts together. The box, or a stand carrying bag would work.

 

Finally, no matter what stand you bring, you will need clothespins!!

 

You can also decide whether you want it to be sturdy enough to hold your entire notebook or not.

 

I'll see you at Old Pal!

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Here is what I'm bringing to Old Pal and brought in previous years. I made it myself based on a stand I saw there years ago. It folds flat, but I should warn you, even then it is more unwieldly than the wire ones. On the other hand, it holds a concertina and has a sort of "purse" for extra music. It is also what I use for daily playing at home. Maybe I should go into production!? ;)

 

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With the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival looming nigh on the horizon, I wanted to ask your opinions on portable music stands.

 

I'm going to be purchasing one in the next week, and I'm a bit leery of just finding the best looking one on Amazon and buying it.

 

So far, here are the ones I'm looking at:

 

Musician's Gear Heavy-Duty Folding Music Stand Black

 

If anyone has any of these, or have used them in the past, I'd like to know your thoughts on their portability and endurance.

 

I have the Musician's Gear model, and it's pretty crappy .. I managed to break the knurled (plastic) nut that holds it in the extended position the first time I tightened it.

 

john d

Edited by John D
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I have the Musician's Gear model, and it's pretty crappy .. I managed to break the knurled (plastic) nut that holds it in the extended position the first time I tightened it.

 

john d

 

Knurled plastic nuts seem to be bad news: I broke one at Witney a couple of years ago revealing the steel hexagonal nut that really did the job. It was quite easy to tighten that using a spanner or replace it by a wingnut. Unfortunately, I had neither with me.

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Will you be needing a proper stand with legs, if you are trying to keep the amount of gear you're carrying and think a table may bavailable, there are small stands available which work nicely and fold up to nearly nothing. (Some are for recipe books in the kitchen :-) )

A while ago I bought a music case that doubles as a stand for the tabel - it was cheap but I wouldn't really recommend it, it doesn't work very well as either a case or a stand!

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So far, here are the ones I'm looking at:

 

.

.

.

 

If anyone has any of these, or have used them in the past, I'd like to know your thoughts on their portability and endurance.

 

I have none of the above, and I wouldn't call any of them portable, because they all have rigid desktops (or whatever you call the surface you set the music on).

 

What practically everyone here in Germany uses is the simple, rivetted, sheet-metal, folding type with telescopic column. Folded together, it's 35 cm long, 4.5 cm wide and 5.5 cm thick. That's portable for me!

Folded out, the desktop is 44 cm wide, with fold-out extensions to support music sheets up to 70 cm wide, and 21 cm high. Takes an open A4 binder easily.

The column is adjustable to put the ledge of the desktop at between 45 cm and 110 cm above floor level. That means I can use it when playing my concertina sitting down, without it hiding my concertina; and my son (1.85 m tall) can read his trombone music easily standing up.

I've used mine for at least 20 years, and it's still functional and visually presentable.

 

What I'm talking about is something like Model K&M 103 on this page (scroll dow prety far), which costs only €15.90. You can get them in nickel, black, red, blue and probably other colours. Your local music shop should have them. Whoever buys a violin or classical guitar buys one.

 

Clothes pegs are a good idea - when playing outdoors they're essential. While you're at your local music shop, however, ask for those rather more presentable plastic clips with musical motifs on them - they're made specially for sheet music, and are actually better than Mum's clothes pegs.:D

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

John

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My music stand doesn't have a decent sized shelf; it's too narrow and loose leaves slide off if they have any curl at all, so you could watch that I suppose,

 

Which is precisely why I bought what I currently use (admittedly for giving talks on my lady folksong collector most of the time). The flimsy foldable metalised ones were just not sufficient. Anything heavier than a small folder or paperback just tipped over, or looseleaves slid off. I ended up buying something a little more akin to this one from a local music shop.

http://www.amazon.co...31053784&sr=1-2

 

It's ideal as the height is easily adjustable (note the type of legs involved, as opposed to the ones like the Stagg), the angle of the music rest is also adjustable, and the shelf provided is adequate to provide for heavy music (or in my case today a heavy A4 ringbinder file with notes in it), biro, pencil etc etc. The one that I bought came with a carry bag (which was used to cart it the 10 minute walk up the road to the venue where I was giving my talk.), and it dismantles into two parts - the legs, which fold up relatively small, and the music rest. I've also used it to sit down in a chair at home to play music, with the height reduced to absolute minimum.

 

So the question you asked at the start is really a bit difficult to answer - you didn't say what you need to use it for. If it's just a lightweight solid book of music, A4 size, then the lighter ones are probably OK. If you want really larger books, looseleaf sheets etc ... you'd be better off with a professional orchestral or conductor's music stand with the solid rest and shelf, and properly adjustable legs, and stand height. Good luck

Edited by Irene S
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So the question you asked at the start is really a bit difficult to answer - you didn't say what you need to use it for. If it's just a lightweight solid book of music, A4 size, then the lighter ones are probably OK. If you want really larger books, looseleaf sheets etc ... you'd be better off with a professional orchestral or conductor's music stand with the solid rest and shelf, and properly adjustable legs, and stand height. Good luck

 

 

I'm going to be taking it to the Old Pal music festival for use in workshops and jam sessions for holding my music. It will most likely be used inside more than outside, but outside use is possible.

 

I went with the ones with more sturdy backs because I didn't want a gust from behind to take out my music if I didn't have it in a sturdy folder.

 

I do appreciate all the input received thus far. I am adding clothespins to my list of things to pick up prior to the festival.

 

I have a decent backpack that can serve as a carry-all for most of the gear, with my 'tina being separate in the gig bag it came with.

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I use a PEAK SMS-20 music stand for heavy stuff - books, ring-binders, etc. It is compact and portable, but very sturdy and easy to adjust. Check out the video:

 

http://www.peakmusicstands.com/category.cfm?category=15

 

When I need maximum portability, and only using sheet music, I use my RAT 'Scherzo,' which is very light and compact.

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With the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival looming nigh on the horizon, I wanted to ask your opinions on portable music stands.

 

Looks like you have some good possibilites in your list. I like the simple folding lightweight stands for travel on planes and where space is limited otherwise during travel, but they are often a little on the flimsy side and have openings that things can fall through. Of course I have to acknowledge that they serve the purpose of holding music, but often not much more than a few sheets.

 

I recently purchased my wife one of these for use as a harp music stand. She often likes to set an electronic tuner and a tuning key on the lip of the stand in addition to a 1 inch 3-ring binder with sheet music in it. It's not as wide as some, but the solid back and deep lower lip make it quite useful for holding things and it adjusts to a wide range of heights as well as angles. It's designed with elastic retaining straps to hold its collapsed support base on the lower lip during travel and comes with a strap that attaches to the top so it can be slung for carry. Prices vary depending on the source, and I've just selected the particular seller for the info and photos, not as a recommendation for source.

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Reed,

 

I have the Manhassat Symphony stand, similar to the last one in your list, but with fixed legs. It's sturdy and holds notebooks and laptop securely, but it's not as portable because the legs don't fold - the Voyager fixes that. I also have a Proline Conductor's stand, and it is a good sturdy stand also, with folding legs. It's available at Guitar Center for $36 - a good deal. My bandmate has the Stagg and it's a good choice, and folds up a little tighter than the Proline. I imagine the holes in the platform reduce the weight a little bit. I use a light-weight stand with a folding platform for indoor gigs to hold a few charts, but it can be tippy, it's not easy to clip papers to it and it wouldn't do at all outside.

 

I'll be taking the Proline Conductor's stand to Old Pal.

 

Rick

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  • 1 month later...

 

Looks like you have some good possibilites in your list. I like the simple folding lightweight stands for travel on planes and where space is limited otherwise during travel, but they are often a little on the flimsy side and have openings that things can fall through. Of course I have to acknowledge that they serve the purpose of holding music, but often not much more than a few sheets.

 

I recently purchased my wife one of these for use as a harp music stand. She often likes to set an electronic tuner and a tuning key on the lip of the stand in addition to a 1 inch 3-ring binder with sheet music in it. It's not as wide as some, but the solid back and deep lower lip make it quite useful for holding things and it adjusts to a wide range of heights as well as angles. It's designed with elastic retaining straps to hold its collapsed support base on the lower lip during travel and comes with a strap that attaches to the top so it can be slung for carry. Prices vary depending on the source, and I've just selected the particular seller for the info and photos, not as a recommendation for source.

 

 

As a final note, I ended up going with the Portastand Troubador, which is similar to the Minstrel you purchased for your wife, with the exception that it comes with a heavy-duty cloth "cover" for the business end of the stand which doubles as a sort of built-in attache for your music. I was able to easily fit all of my brought music and acquired music into the stand itself, and then just lug it about with the included shoulder strap. I'm very pleased with my purchase, and thank you Bruce for helping guide me in the right direction!

 

For more information about the offerings from Portastand, visit their website at http://www.portastand.com

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Glad you found something you liked. I looked at the larger model and was drawn towards it, but had to remind myself that I was purchasing for my wife and not myself - the smaller one was just right for her. They are nice sturdy stands with a wide adjustment range and she loves that. I'm still using a $12 folding model that gets the job done but It's not something you'd want to set a binder or book on unless you balance it very carefully.

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