Triangles are Rockin’ Instruments


Triangles are a far more complex instrument than what meets the eye.  Most people think of these unpitched percussion instruments as simple ways for preschoolers to simply add sound to a song.  Wrong!  There are professional triangle players out there that turn these unassuming instruments into complete awesome rock and roll.  Today, we are going to learn some techniques for older music students (3rd grade and above) to try their hand at some fast and totally cool rhythms.

First, you will need a couple of items to complete this activity.  Most importantly, you will need a triangle:


You can find them in most children’s aisles in Target or Toy-R-Us in the musical instrument section or you can conveniently buy one off of the internet.  Click HERE to check one out on

You will also need access to the internet with speakers hooked up, so make sure you’re trying this activity in front of a computer.

The Activty

In order to understand the coolness of triangles, you will need to listen to some live rockin’ performances of them.  Here are a few not to be missed:

–Drew Hester, studio percussionist, played with the Foo Fighters at their Wembley Stadium concert in 2008 :

–Jose Cortijo MEINL 8″ Traingle solo:

–Meinl Triangle solo with some Latin flavor:

So now, it is time for you to try playing the triangle.  There are actually trained techniques, and I found just the guy to teach all of you.  On Youtube, Aaron Bland from “expertvillage” has several lessons on how to play.  I highly recommend checking this guy out, because his lessons are very easy to follow.

Here is Aaron Bland’s lesson on how to make different sounds out of the triangle:

Aaron Bland’s lesson on how to make long and short notes with the triangle:

Aaron Bland’s lesson on how to hold a triangle:

Aaron Bland’s lesson on how to mute a triangle:

And finally, putting all of the lessons together….here is Aaron Bland’s lesson on how to play a triangle:

This is easily an instrument that a child or teen could teach to themselves.  The only requirement is some good instinctual rhythm and patience along with a willingness to practice.  It is a fun instrument that should not be overlooked, so try it out and have fun!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top 10 Tuesday musical activity.  For a complete list of all of the Top 10 instruments under $40 that will help promote music education in the home, click HERE.  For an archive of previous Top 10 Tuesday musical activities, click HERE.  Until next week, play on!


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