My friends and I are performing "Don't Stop Believing" and I think the triangle is the only instrument I can play and not ruin everything. Are there any better basic instruments. We are just doing this for fun.
I've always thought you need nerves of steel to play the triangle in an orchestra - you wait for 400 bars and then ding.
But in a band, you can play without having to count lots of bars rest. Suspend the triangle from a stand, and then you can experiment - hold the beater in one hand, and be ready to damp the triangle with your other hand after you've struck it. You can generate some funky rhythms that way, and probably replace the high hat part using this method. Experiment with where to strike to get the best sound.
Also, for a different sound, if you hit the triangle and then wave your hand in the space in the middle you can get a subtle vibrato effect.
All triangles are not the same - if you do a side by side between a cheap one (just bent chromed steel) and a proper heavyweight bronze triangle the difference is like night and day - the cheapy doesn't cut through the other instruments.
But don't limit yourself - you can incorporate home-made percussion instruments or found items (water cooler bottles, fire extinguishers, scaffolding pipe, etc.) - as long as you're playing in time you'll be fine.