Whether you are a one-guitar person or own an army of stringed instruments, you should have a way to keep them within reach, at least the one that you use regularly. Yes, you could store them in a gig bag, but that takes as much room while adding one more step to the process.
When it comes to practice, we’ve already warned you against the dangers of propping up guitars against the wall or placing them precariously on a chair during breaks. Plus, this is yet another reason why you shouldn’t invest in the safety or convenience of a guitar stand. After all, it won’t cost an arm and a leg, but not buying one can cost you a (guitar) neck.
Based on your needs, there are primarily four types of guitar stands to consider:
- A-Frame Guitar Stands
- Guitar Tripod Stands
- Multi-Guitar Racks
- Guitar Wall Mounts and Hangers
The most important thing to look for in a guitar stand is durability and stability. A good stand should also have requisite foam padding on the contact points where it touches a guitar. This will preserve the guitar’s finish and protect against scruffs that diminish aesthetic and resale value.
Portability can be a factor if you intend to carry the stand for rehearsals and gigs. The stand should be stable, lightweight, and foldable to the point where it is convenient to store in the boot of your car.
We’ve already covered the best guitar wall mounts and hangers in 2020, so we’ll recommend three options – budget, mid-market, and premium – for the other three categories. That’s a total of nine with our top picks for each segment. Now that we have our work cut out, let’s have at it.
- Our Top 3 Picks:
- 3 Best A-Frame Guitar Stands
- 3 Best Tripod Guitar Stands
- 3 Best Multi-Guitar Rack Stands
- The Final Word
Our Top 3 Picks:
The Fender Universal A-Frame is perfect for electric guitars. It is a relatively cheap but highly reliable solution once you consider the flexible retainer arms and the additional nestling arm – a feature that very few of its competitors offer. It has a tiny footprint and great ‘foldability’. However, A-frames can be easily knocked off, inadvertently damaging the guitar sitting on it. Despite the best-in-category adjustability and stability, you may want to steer clear of these if you live with children, pets, or clumsy roommates.
The Gator Frameworks Adjustable Guitar Stand features a two-tier design with generous padding and heavy-duty tubing. This height-adjustable tripod stand is available in every imaginable avatar to hold one or more instruments. The rubber feet ensure that it stays firmly in place and it cradles all types of guitars (electric, nylon-string, and acoustic) better than the other options in this price bracket.
For the best multi-guitar rack, we recommend the Hercules 5 Piece Guitar Rack for its outstanding design and fantastic value for money. Hercules are well known as the cream of the crop for high quality guitar stands and racks, and this is no exception. The stand is simple to assemble, easy to modify to suit your needs, and relatively affordable. It offers excellent stability with high-quality specialty foam padding and is truly worthy of being the KGR Editor’s Choice.
3 Best A-Frame Guitar Stands
This aptly named ‘basic’ stand is all about getting the job done. Frankly, in the economy lineup, there is nothing distinguishable among most of the contenders. We’ve taken Amazon’s return policy, user reviews, and price as the major considerations to declare this as the best budget option.
A-Frames are often ‘framed’ as rickety low budget options, as they seem to be at first glance. However, the AmazonBasics A-Frame is reasonably stable thanks to the broad base and the non-slip rubber feet. The construction is lightweight, durable, and well padded for the price. This makes it a go-for-it universal A-frame option for both acoustic and electric guitars
As for portability, it won’t get more convenient than this fully foldable design that can be stashed in the front pocket of any high-quality guitar gig bag. This makes them great for travel, rehearsals, and even stage-use – as long as you promise to be mindful and don’t knock them over.
Verdict: AmazonBasics Folding A-Frame Stand does exactly as advertised and for a very reasonable price. Though nothing exemplary, it’s the best option for those with a) simple needs, b) a low budget and c) a cramped or tiny room with limited space.
- A-frame stand for acoustic and electric guitars
- Soft foam padding and non-slip rubber feet
- Adjustable width, no assembly required
- Lightweight, portable, fully foldable
- Best Budget Option for an A-frame stand
Donner’s no stranger to our buying guides, and it certainly isn’t a slouch when it comes to making guitar accessories. Once again, they’ve impressed us with their folding, wooden A-frame stand.
The Donner A-Frame is a showy solid acacia wood A-Frame that can support electric, classical, and acoustic guitars. Since it is made from real wood, the stand is more stylish and stable than the usual fare. The product is robust and the wood grain has a showy, high-end feel to it.
The arms on which the guitar body rests are covered in cotton padding to prevent damage to the finish and the feet have non-slip rubber covers for stability. You can get some foam from your local hardware store to buff up the padding if you have an expensive guitar.
The stand needs a ‘no-tools’ assembly, although that is a straightforward ordeal. Once put together, you can either dismantle it or simply fold it flat for transport. It can fit certain acoustic gig-bag front pockets that are extra roomy, but it is pretty portable even otherwise.
Verdict: The Donner Solid Wood A-Frame Guitar Stand is a step up from the dime-a-dozen steel stands. It is as sturdy as others but with a more appealing finish. As far as A-Frame designs go, it can reliably hold any symmetrical shape or size of the guitar. That makes it an excellent option for those who want something stylish and stable.
- Solid Acacia Wood A-frame
- Can support acoustic and electric guitars
- Cotton padding and non-slip rubber feet
- Easy to assemble, Folds flat for portability
- Our Top Pick for an A-frame stand
Fender brings the A-Game to the A-Frame with its fully adjustable stand for electric guitars and basses. Speaking of adjustability, both yokes retainer arms that support the guitar body are fully adjustable and it also features a side ‘nestle’ arm to hold the guitar firmly in place.
The support hold (that goes against the back of the guitar) is also adjustable to align the instrument perfectly. All three retainer arms are padded with high-quality foam that is decidedly better than most cheap stands. These design-features inspire confidence that your guitar is in ‘good arms’.
The bad news is that this stand cannot support an acoustic guitar. The good news is that it is one of the few stands that can support offset instruments like the Jazzmaster or quirky designs like the Rhoads signature model.
Verdict: Though a tad pricier than the rest, the Fender Universal A-Frame Electric Stand is money well spent. It is a no-brainer if you own an offset design and we recommend it for its superior foam quality, stability, and adjustability. Even for the regular guitars, you’ll have a hard time finding something similar or more adjustable in the current market.
- Adjustable body support & yokes
- High-quality construction and foam padding
- Additional retainer arm to secure instrument
- Can support offset instruments
- KGR Editor’s Choice for an A-frame stand.
3 Best Tripod Guitar Stands
Like the AmazonBasics A-Frame we listed earlier, ChromaCast offers another no-frills tripod stand for a modest price tag. Though our primary concern is with acoustic, electric, and bass guitars, the ChromaCast can also hold mandolins, banjos, and ukuleles, which is a welcomed bonus.
The ChromaCast two-tier design is made from lightweight steel tubing that is wrapped in soft rubber padding. The stand is height-adjustable and capable of holding bass guitars. It does so with more stability than other options in this price bracket. Moreover, the swivel yoke is sturdy and can support extreme body styles like the Gibson Thunderbird or Flying V, which is a plus.
We found it to be sufficiently stable thanks to the rubber feet on the base and the right angle of the tilt. It also has a rubber neck-latch that will secure the neck and hold the guitar in place to prevent mishaps. In general, we recommend tripod stands that have a locking latch, as they are more reliable and the ChromaCast is a good choice for those on a tight budget.
Verdict: For a ballpark $10 price tag, the ChromaCast stand has little to fault. It is a decent stand for home use, especially if you just want to rest your guitar on it while you take short breaks. This is the best budget option but for more varied use or expensive guitars, we recommend something with better components and foam.
- Best Budget Option
- Adjustable Height and neck lock strap
- Rubber padding on yoke and rest
- Good for simple/basic use
- Best Budget Option for a tripod stand
Gator has nailed every variant of the tripod-style stands and offers everything from a single, double, triple, and 2-pack. They also offer a hanging-style single tripod stand – the one that has no yoke to support the body. Each of these are similar in quality and good options to consider according to your needs.
In terms of design, there is nothing new or innovative about this traditional tripod stand. It has the usual fare of adjustable height, foam padding, locking strap, rubber feet on the base, and rubberized cradle padding. However, everything is relatively better quality compared to other products in this price bracket.
The folding legs make it easy to transport or store away. The steel frame is robust, which adds some heft to the unit but also makes it very stable. You should, however, be careful as you place and lift-up your instrument as tripod stands, in general, tend to be the most unstable at these moments.
Verdict: With so many variants on offer, Gator gives you little reason to look elsewhere for a tripod guitar stand. Each type is robust, stable, and made from high-quality components. Given the modest price tag, it can reliably serve the needs of guitarists at all levels.
- Adjustable Height and neck lock strap
- Heavy-duty steel frame, very stable
- Good padding on yoke and rest
- Available in multiple variations
- Our Top Pick for a tripod stand
Now that Gator has covered everything, we decided to dedicate this one to the hedonists. Zither’s eye-catching guitar floor stand is furniture-grade with 38-inch clearance for full-sized acoustic, electric, and classic guitars.
This USA-made stand is fitted with a String Swing cradle, a wall mount that we’ve featured in our best wall hangers list. It needs some simple assembly that can be achieved with a single Phillips head screwdriver and includes a free bottle of lemon oil to keep it looking fresh and shiny.
We love the walnut wood stand but it available in six additional options: oak, mahogany, cherry, padauk, purpleheart, and maple. Each wood has a different grain and color, which makes it possible to match the stand with your décor or guitar wood.
Verdict: The Zither Solid Wood Guitar Floor Stand isn’t exactly a portable stand that you’d want to lug around in the boot of your car or in damp, smoke-filled bars. It is intended as a handcrafted piece of art with furniture-grade construction to embellish your room while displaying your guitar.
- Premium Solid Wood w/ 7 options
- Safe for Nitro Finish Guitars
- USA-made w/ String Swing Cradle
- For acoustic, electric, and classical guitars
- KGR Editor’s Choice for a tripod stand
3 Best Multi-Guitar Rack Stands
Pyle is a well-established name in the economy-friendly guitar accessories market. With this guitar stand, they’ve proved that you can create a 7-holder foldable/collapsible guitar rack that does an excellent job for an incredulous price.
The Multi-Guitar Stand is built with metal tubing with a black powder coat finish. The build quality is solid for the price and the base is as stable with one guitar as it is with all seven. It includes no-slip rubber feet and Velveteen rubber padding to protect the guitar body and neck.
It does have low ground clearance, so you should place a rubber or foam mat below it or place it on a carpet to avoid any scraping. For the price, it offers reasonable features, especially once you compare it to other options in this range. Moreover, it is one of the few guitar racks available in a 9-guitar option.
Verdict: 7 or 9 guitars might be a distant dream for most guitar players but the Pyle Multi Guitar Stand can work well as a display rack for studios, shops, or guitar collectors. The collapsible design makes it portable, so it can also be a good common rack that a band call pool in to buy for gigs and/or rehearsals.
- Holds 7 or 9 guitars of any type
- Velveteen rubber padding
- Heavy-duty frame with non-slip rubber feet
- Affordable, good value
- Best Budget Option for a multi-guitar rack
Hercules is nothing short of a guitar-stand specialist, and with this multi-instrument rack, they prove their mettle. The 5-piece rack is robust and it can hold any combination of electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. A word of caution though, this guitar rack is not nitro-safe.
It boasts of an adjustable yoke with proprietary SFF foam that generously covers all the potential contact points to protect the finish of your guitar. The one-piece design makes it more stable and easy to setup. Nevertheless, you’ll need to dismantle it if you plan to transport it.
We’ve arbitrarily picked the number of guitars that the rack can hold, but this product (and the ones that follow) is available in other variations for 3, 5, and 7 guitars. Since they have the same quality and components, you can select the version that suits your needs.
Any filled-out 5-piece guitar rack is easily a few grands worth of equipment. It is always a good choice to get a high-quality stand like the GS525B that has good ground clearance, padding, and stability. Take some time to assemble is well and you’ll find that it is money well spent.
Verdict: The Hercules 5-Piece Guitar Rack features high-quality padding, good stability, and top-grade construction. It is an excellent choice for home and studio use. As it is a tad less portable than the rest, if you are willing to make the effort to dismantle it, it’s one of the best multi-instrument racks for stage use as well.
- Holds acoustic, electric, and bass guitars
- Generous SF Foam over contact points
- Adjustable yoke for the best fit
- Stable, sturdy, and good value
- KGR Editor’s Choice for a multi-guitar rack
Any multi-instrument rack tends to get heavy when it is filled with guitars. Yet, the options with caster wheels are far and few. If you’ve ever owned a multi-guitar stand, you’ll know the struggle of moving it across the room. Dragging it can damage the floor and lifting it needs a helping hand (or two).
Once you have a rolling cart, everything else just feels like a step back. However, when it comes to this one, we weren’t won over by the rolling cart just because of the wheels. Those will barely see much use. Instead, we love the design features and materials used, especially for the price.
For starters, it doesn’t incline the guitars as much as other units, which means you can place it closer to a wall. Plus, you can adjust the yoke at various angles to raise the height of the guitars. Each guitar has its own rubber mount that locks the guitar in place due to its superior grip as compared to plastic.
Even the neck holders have fingers and angles for additional stability. As for assembly, the product ships with neatly packaged instructions and all the screws and hex wrenches needed. Overall, it is an excellent all-round design that ticks all the boxes of a well-made rack.
Verdict: The American Sound Connection 5-Guitar Rolling Cart is a personal favorite and we’d recommend it in a heartbeat. It offers more value than products twice its size even without the caster wheels and the quality is outstanding for the price. Overall, it’s a great guitar rack with or without the addition of the wheels.
- Rolling, lockable caster wheels
- Folds flat for transport/storage
- Rubber grips for neck & good quality cushioning
- For Electric and Acoustic Guitars
- Our Top Pick for a multi-guitar rack
The Final Word
As always, your needs and budget will have a big (if not the ultimate) say in what you settle for. It is advised to use a multi-instrument rack for home studios and one or more single stands for the electric guitar and/or acoustic guitar in your room or rehearsal space – for easy access. To that end, we hope this buying guide will serve as the ultimate resource to help you make the right purchase(s).
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