Playing the Triangle can be a real profession – and how! We asked the professional triangle player Stefan Landes seven questions about his job, the funny side of the game and his biggest fears. And what is the Foo Fighters’ relation to the triangle? Read all about it here…
What is the longest triangle joke?
This joke stretches over a period of more than 1000 years…
A triangle player arrives in heaven, and is admitted into the heavenly orchestra, where he has to play an eighth note in the last phrase. The rehearsal begins, God directs. The first phrase lasts 300 years, the second 250, the third 200 years. Finally, it’s time for the fourth. After another 164 years, his mission is approaching. He stands up self-confidently and hits his triangle. “Ping.” God raises his hand for silence and says, “Too early! From the top!!”
What is the shortest triangle joke?
A triangle after a fortissimo strike! =)
Is there a really well-known and successful triangle player?
Yes, there is! He plays crazy triangle solos in front of sold-out stadiums and the crowds go wild for him. It’s Drew Hester, the Foo Fighters‘ percussionist. Don’t believe it? Watch the video below, he plays a triangle solo at a concert at Wembley Stadium:
Anyone can play the triangle in an orchestra, right?
That’s what George Plimpton, an English journalist, thought. He writes:
“I have always enjoyed trying out many sports and extreme situations myself. But the worst of my stakes wasn’t when I played ice hockey in the NHL, participated in the training camp of an American football team or boxed with a reigning champion. No, the worst was when I played the triangle in a concert of the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein. In such an orchestra it is absolutely forbidden to make a mistake.
In the piece we performed, I had a passage to play with only three slow triangle strokes. In the middle of a rehearsal Bernstein stopped the whole orchestra, looked at me and said: “Triangle alone, please!” I played and he just shook his head. “That’s three completely different sounds, again!”
Almost every rehearsal went like this, in the concert I sat on my chair as pale as a sheet with my heart pounding and hoped that no one in the audience would noticed my bad triangle sound.”*
What are the three biggest fears of a triangle player?
And what can you do about it?
a) The triangle line breaks and the triangle falls down
Many triangle players therefore thread a second replacement triangle line in their holder. Fishing line has proven to be extremely tear resistant =)
c) Missing solo beat
Count properly and rehearse the piece in advance!
What is the best reply when other musicians in a professional orchestra poke fun at the very few notes of a triangle player?
“It is true that I have relatively few notes to play. But if we consider that every musician here in the orchestra is paid a similar salary, then I really earn much more per note than you! =)
What are the three best insider tips for triangle players?
a) The ultimate insider tip for radiant sounds:
“Just tremble a little back and forth with the hand holding the triangle holder. With such a wobbling of the triangle right after the shot you get a great vibrato effect. The tone of the triangle then becomes wonderfully radiant and shiny.
b) The ultimate insider tip for very soft sounds, so that they don’t disappear completely:
The trick here is to gently and carefully place the mallet on the triangle before the beat. So you get a good feel for the instrument. If you then lift the mallet directly from the stroke again, it is not difficult to catch the triangle even with a very fine movement.
c) The ultimate insider tip for a beautiful and even triangle:
Whether you’re playing the triangle on the top corner or on a side corner of the triangle, it’s always difficult for both of the triangle sides to sound exactly the same.
For this purpose, train with a triangle mallet to play in different tempi and dynamics between two triangle walls. You’ll see, if you make a single-post-whirl after that, it’s much easier and sounds much smoother.
* George Plimpton’s quote is from The Best of Plimpton, Atlantic Monthly Press New York.