While a case may be sufficient protection for travel, a saxophone stand will help protect against accidental damage during practice at home, rehearsal or performance, especially for players that must frequently change horns. Using a Sax stand helps a player to ensure that their horns are never on the ground and are protected against being knocked over, bumped or otherwise disturbed.
Before purchasing a stand, it pays to first examine the various options available. Sax stands come in a number of varieties, but most are based around a similar design. Most stands are tripod-based,like a three legged stool, providing the best possible support. Many modern sax stands are collapsible, allowing musicians to fold them up and store them alongside other instruments during travel. For instance, some stands come with a removable hoop that allows players to adjust how much the stand compresses. Many newer models remain collapsed when not in use, using the weight of the instrument to stay in place.
Some sax stands feature additional support structures, such as a metal plug that can be inserted into the base tube to prevent any parts of the horn from moving. Most stands should have some sort of soft finish to prevent scratch damage on the horns they hold. Double stands allow players to easily hold two horns, while wall-mounted stands are ideal for recording studios or practice rooms in which a floor stand would clutter the room.
In choosing a stand, players should make their selection based on the type of saxophone they have. Heavier horns, especially tenor and baritone saxophones, require particularly stable stands that can support their weight without tipping over. The selected stand should also conform well to the shape of the saxophone. While saxophones are relatively standard in shape, small variations in their construction can mean that certain stands may not match up with certain stands. Again, players should look for sturdy stands that hold their instruments as firmly as possible without damaging their finish.
Because matching a horn to a stand is so important, players are advised to try out several stands in person before purchasing one. This way someone in-store can show the difference in sizes and what will best suit your horn. Some online music stores allow buyers to try several stands and return those they do not like. In buying a saxophone stand, there is never one best choice. Each player must find a stand that meets their needs as a performer and effectively protects their instrument.