Mild to steep standing waves of the fundamental mode are generated in a narrow rectangular cylinder undergoing vertical oscillation with forcing frequencies of 3.15 Hz to 3.34 Hz. A precise, non-intrusive optical wave profile measurement system is used along with a wave probe to accurately quantify the spatial and temporal surface elevations. These standing waves are also simulated by a two-dimensional spectral Cauchy integral code. Experiments show that contact-line effects increase the viscous natural frequency and alter the neutral stability curves. Hence, as expected, the addition of the wetting agent Photo Flo significantly changes the stability curve and the hysteresis in the response diagram. Experimentally, we find strong modulations in the wave amplitude for some forcing frequencies higher than 3.30 Hz. Reducing contact-line effects by Photo-Flo addition suppresses these modulations. Perturbation analysis predicts that some of this modulation is caused by noise in the forcing signal through ‘sideband resonance’, i.e. the introduction of small sideband forcing can generate large modulations of the Faraday waves. The analysis is verified by our numerical simulations and physical experiments. Finally, we observe experimentally a new form of steep standing wave with a large symmetric double-peaked crest, while simulation of the same forcing condition results in a sharper crest than seen previously. Both standing wave forms appear at a finite wave steepness far smaller than the maximum steepness for the classical standing wave and a surface tension far smaller than that for a Wilton ripple. In both physical and numerical experiments, a stronger second harmonic (in time) and temporal asymmetry in the wave forms suggest a 1:2 resonance due to a non-conventional quartet interaction. Increasing wave steepness leads to a new form of breaking standing waves in physical experiments.