Until I was about fifteen or sixteen, it seems like the only kind of guitar stand I ever saw looked like this:
Generic, and prone to falling over when bumped. These are no good. A trip to LA with my dad when I was in high school was the first time I ever saw an A-frame stand, that are now even more ubiquitous.
So, I’ve been using some variation of that for about fifteen years. This type is better because the guitar leans back slightly and the weight of the stand is distributed more evenly on the base, giving it a lower center of gravity. A lot of them tend to be kind of heavy, however, and they don’t fold up as nicely for carrying as you imagine they do.
After a show recently where I had to carry one of these along with some other gear, I decided to try something a little different. I purchased a couple of these Hercules stands for home:
What’s nice about these stands is that they fold up surprisingly small (Hercules also sells a carrying bag for them), are very stable and have these cool little grippers that fold in over the head stock when you’ve set the guitar on the stand:
They’re a little more expensive ($40-50), but not much. I also bought one of their small floor stands which are like the regular heavy A-stands, but are much more light weight, at least as stable, and fold up extremely small:
Spending $40 or $50 on a guitar stand seems like a lot of money. But when you consider that your guitars probably cost at least several hundred or thousands of dollars, it’s silly not to spend an extra $20 or $30 for a better stand.