To subscribe to Stewart's articles, email: and write "subscribe" in the subject box

Yes, the sadly neglected triangle clip. And if you’re not sure of the condition of your triangle clips – or whether or not you even have any sitting at the bottom of the percussion drawers in your junior high or high school classroom – you definitely have to add them to your checklist when you review your inventory. (And if you read nothing else, check the two, important points at the bottom of the page!)

Often triangles – usually cheaper ones – come with a loop of string strung through a hole in one of the corners, but that’s not enough. If your percussionists have to move quickly from the triangle to another instrument, or if the triangle part is too difficult to play with only one beater, you must have a proper clip.

Basically, a triangle clip is a spring clamp. I bought mine decades ago in a hardware store, but you will find a variety of clips at your music supplier. (If you do find a spring clamp at your local hardware store, try to find one with two holes, one in front of the other, on one back end of the arms. You’ll need to loop string through them.)

The clip attaches to a music stand. Keep in mind that your percussionists may need two clips if they have to keep the triangle more stable. By suspending the triangle from two corners, quick, rhythmic passages can be played with a pair of beaters without the instrument spinning out of control.

The triangle should be suspended from strings looped through the clip. If your triangle has a hole in it with a piece of string running through it, you can just get rid of the string and suspend the instrument from the inside corner. NOTE: If you intend to use a triangle holder, you will not be using a clamp and you can leave the string strung through the hole.

Make sure that the string you are using is strong and thin, so that it doesn’t muffle the overtones. Fishing line is a good choice.

And finally, two points that you must not overlook:

Believe me, I have seen - and heard - triangles go crashing onto the floor before. Once was at a TSO performance of the Berg Violin Concerto - during a quiet passage of course. So take a moment to check the following points:

1) Examine any old string on your triangles or clamps and make sure the string is in good shape. If it's at all worn, replace it with a piece of strong fishing line.

2) As an extra precaution, make sure you add a safety, backup string to your clip. Loop a second, longer string through the same holes that you’ve passed the first string. It will hang a little lower than the first string. Should the primary string break, the triangle will be caught by the second.

Table of Contents


Home | Bio | Bands | Band Teacher's Percussion Guide | Lessons | Clinics | Journalism | Contact | Blog | Links

Copyright@ Stewart Hoffman Music, 2007