Black Swamp Percussion makes a variety of triangles & beaters, so we have put together this little guide to help you make the right buying decision!
"I think that the triangle is one of the most misunderstood percussion instruments, even though it's one of the most common things that you are going to find in standard percussion parts." - Andrea Venet: Black Swamp Artist
While a triangle will always have three sides, there is no one-size-fits-all instrument solution. Instead, it's about finding the right fit for you or your ensemble. The sound of a triangle is deeply personal, and the selection process should be guided by your own musical preferences and intended use. As you explore our guide, trust your ears to lead you in the right direction. Consider the physical makeup of the triangle, the variety of beater sizes available, and how each triangle's unique characteristics can enhance your musical expression. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision that will elevate your musical experience.
Material & Sound Characteristics
Black Swamp Percussion manufactures triangles and beaters with two distinct materials: Steel and Bronze. When selecting a triangle a good starting point is what material you'd like the triangle or beater to be. From there selecting size and application will become more clear.
Each series of Black Swamp triangle and beater possesses unique sonic qualities, catering to different musical contexts and preferences. Steel and bronze are visually distinct and have various weights based on their size. This variation in materials results in divergent tonal characteristics and overall sound profiles: the steel being on the brighter end of the spectrum whereas bronze is warmer and darker in tone and timbre.
Artisan steel triangles are known for their "traditional" triangle sound. They produce a pure, clear tone with excellent sustain and articulate articulation. These steel triangles are well-suited for a wide range of musical applications and general-purpose performances.
On the other hand, Arch & Legacy bronze triangles offer a lush and sonorous sound, characterized by a complex harmonic texture. They excel in conveying rich and expressive tones, particularly in isolated, non-rhythmic passages. These triangles are ideal for musicians seeking a deeper, more resonant quality in their performances.
Below is a triangle timbre chart detailing where each of these triangle series fall on a spectrum of Bright to Dark Tone and Long to Short Sustain.
Using the triangle timbre chart above, we can already start to see a distinction between how size has an effect on a triangles overall tone and sustain. Smaller triangles tend to be brighter and sometimes with shorter sustain. However, the material of the triangle will greatly change the tone and sustain of the instrument.
All series of Black Swamp triangles come in various sizes to cater to different musical needs. The sizes typically range from 4" to 10" in diameter, allowing musicians to select the triangle size that best suits their preferences and performance requirements. The Artisan steel triangles offering the extreme options of very small (4") to very large (10") for more specialized performance needs. The Legacy bronze triangles offer a more concise list of sizes ranging from 5" to 8". And finally the Arch Bronze triangles offering 6" and 7" models.
Artisan steel triangles are versatile and well-suited for a broad range of musical styles and applications. They are a reliable choice for orchestras, bands, ensembles, and solo performances where a traditional triangle sound is desired. The steel material allows for fast rhythms to speak clearly and with shimmering tone. Artisan triangles are a great choice for your first triangle.
Legacy bronze triangles, on the other hand, shine in situations that call for more nuanced and expressive playing. They are particularly well-suited for performances that require intricate tonal variations and a deeper level of musical expression. These instruments have a brilliant glimmer to their sound and offer beautiful layered overtones.
Arch bronze triangles build upon the brilliance of the Legacy bronze triangles but have a darker, more rustic series of overtones that blend in a moody and complex texture of sonorities. Like the Legacy bronze, these instruments sing with single notes and exposed moments of music.
Across all Black Swamp triangle series, 6" triangles tend to be the most popular option–sitting right in the middle of the size options and allowing a greater variety of performance options. Take a listen to all 3 triangle series in 6" models back to back.
6" Artisan Steel Triangle: Your First Triangle
For those acquiring their first triangle—an achievement worthy of congratulations—or seeking a versatile instrument for diverse musical contexts, we recommend our Artisan model AT6. This 6" steel triangle excels in any performance environment, offering a pristine tone, remarkable sustain, and precise articulation as required. For enhanced resonance, consider the 8" variant, model AT8, for added depth and presence.
6" Legacy Bronze Triangle: Brilliant and Nuanced
If you have a preference for sustaining tones and intricate harmonic textures, we recommend exploring our Legacy Bronze models. We suggest beginning with our highly sought-after LBT6, which offers versatility across a wide range of musical styles despite its 6" size. Alternatively, for those considering a larger option, we recommend the LBT7 as a compelling choice.
6" Arch Bronze Triangle: Dark and Complex
For those prepared to venture into the realm of sonic exploration and discern the exquisite intricacies of triangle notes, the 6-inch Arch Bronze triangle stands as an ideal companion. This rich and nuanced instrument, with its dark timbre and complex tonality, introduces a depth of overtones and subtleties that elevate it as an indispensable addition to any percussion ensemble.
When it comes to playing the triangle, having a suitable beater is paramount. In alignment with the quality of our triangles, we present two distinctive beater styles in both bronze and stainless steel, each tailored to fulfill specific purposes. Like our Triangle Timbre Chart, the following chart shows where the selection of beaters fall on a spectrum of tone and overtones produced by your triangle while using a specific beater.
Black Swamp Percussion's Select Triangle Beaters offer versatile sound suitable for various styles. Crafted with top-grade stainless steel or bronze, they ensure durability. These beaters produce balanced, articulate sound with a subtle "tick" for brightness. Color-coded grips aid quick identification, enhancing efficiency. Each set includes a Cordura case for portability. Choose from single sets for personal use or double sets for schools and orchestras. Single sets provide three beaters for compact portability, while double sets accommodate ensemble playing with six beaters. Select Triangle Beaters cater to diverse percussion needs, offering reliability and convenience for performers at any level.
The Spectrum Triangle Beaters provide exceptional performance and comfort. With an end-weighted design, they offer precise control and projection, crafted from a unique bronze alloy and stainless steel for rich, vibrant sound. Stainless steel handles with rubber grips ensure stability during long sessions. Each set includes a Cordura case for reliable storage and portability. Ideal for orchestras, ensembles, or soloists, Spectrum beaters unlock the full potential of your triangle, delivering enhanced resonance and projection. Available in single or double sets, as well as individually to cater to various needs, whether for personal exploration or ensemble playing.
Teardrop Spectrum Beater: The Two-In-One Beater
If circumstances limit your beater selection to just one, consider the Spectrum Teardrop Beater. Available in Bronze (SPEC4) or Stainless Steel (SPEC4-SS) models. Its unique teardrop shape gives softer dynamics at the tip of the beater and fuller, bolder tones at the end of the beater where it is most wide. This empowers confident and dynamic performances, making it an excellent choice for any triangle size, material, or shape. The Spectrum Teardrop Beater promises exceptional sound across the board.
The best way to find the perfect triangle or beater is to listen and hear what resonates with you. Hit the link below to see all of Black Swamp's Triangles and Beaters.