Back on to the ukulele accessory reviews, and something extremely simple, cheap and as such, something I think that is a no brainer for anyones gig bag. The Clearwater / Aroma Folding Ukulele Stand.
Stands are something that many ukulele players will look into at some point. At the end of the day they are a far better bet than leaving an instrument leaning against a table or chair leg and massively reduce the risk of being knocked over. In the simplest sense, one can use a regular guitar stand, but there are an increasing variety of ukulele specific stands out there. They come in a range of construction types from the sturdy metal variety, through to the hand crafted wooden type through to the more flimsy. Whilst this one is very much at the more flimsy end, that kind of misses the point of it.
These folding stands actually come badged in a variety of names (such is the way of the world with Chinese imports) but they are all the same. The one in this review is branded as Clearwater, but Southern Ukulele Store sell the exact same model branded as 'Aroma'. Either way, they retail at £15 which is clearly a snip.
As I say, this stand is not the sturdiest one on the block and is more to my mind a temporary or occasional stand. It's completely made from plastic which helps with weight and price but not with stability. The real key to this one though is how it folds down to next to nothing. Try doing that with a metal stand. In fact this one folds so flat and compact it will easily fit in the front pocket of a gig bag or pod case and is so light you wouldn't know it is there. And that is the real selling point.
Aside from the plastic construction, the whole thing is very well made and has some thoughtful touches like rubberised feet to stop it sliding about and rubber padding vouchering the parts that the ukulele rests on.
When fully extended, the arms that hold the base of the uke are also adjustable to give a personalised fit for different depts of instrument. I can say I have used this perfectly well with all sorts of sopranos through to tenors, but suspect some baritone bodies may be a touch too deep.
I can't say I would rely on this as a permanent stand for a music room or study as it is too slight to be reliable in the long term (too easy to kick it over), but that portability is key here. I own some rigid guitar stands that I use for both guitar and ukulele and I would not want to lug one of those to jam sessions, club nights, camping or even many gigs as they are just one more thing to carry. With this you can literally fold it down and stick it in your back pocket. In fact I HAVE used this on stage to stop the usual trick of leaving a uke lying on the ground or leaning on a microphone stand waiting to be kicked over. It works great and is no bother to just 'carry along'
And at £15 - well, why not?
Take a look at the video below to see it in action.
Check out the Aroma version (same thing!) on Amazon HERE
Not the most stable stand on the block
© Barry Maz