Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano

Strike up a song with Paul and Sue Bergstrom's thumb piano handcrafted from a hollowed-out gourd.

$40.00

Paul and Sue Bergstrom created by

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

read more about the maker

Thumbs Up!

This petite instrument carries with it thousands of years of African musical tradition. Called a kalimba, mbira, mbila, or marímbula depending on the region in which it's played, the first version of this handheld thumb piano originated in Africa over 3,000 years ago! Lightweight and portable, the thumb piano was the chosen instrument of traveling troubadours, who would retell the history of their tribe in song.

Whether you use it to strike up your own story or to teach little ones about music, Paul and Sue Bergstrom's handcrafted thumb piano is the ideal instrument to carry a tune. Atop a beautiful, hollowed-out gourd are 8 numbered tines that correspond with traditional notes on the diatonic scale. The tines, or keys, are made of tempered spring steel that is hand-cut and rounded. To play, simply cradle the gourd in your hands and pluck the tines with your thumbs. Handmade in Blairsville, Georgia.

Includes easy-to-follow songbook filled with traditional melodies like "You are my sunshine," "Kumbaya," and "Happy Birthday."

US_GA

Made in Georgia

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

created by

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

location

Georgia

Nothing brings Paul and Sue Bergstrom more joy than sharing their love of music. The couple, who live in the mountains of north Georgia, craft Kalimbas—a type of thumb piano that originated in Africa—out of gourds and wood. When Paul creates an instrument, he works to "feel" the sound. "Only after my wife has installed the key set and tuned it do I get to hear the end result of my work," he says.

Aesthetic beauty is just as important, even when it can't be seen. A few years ago, Paul recalls a show where a young blind girl chose her own Kalimba. When she found her match, a cannonball gourd, she knew instantly. "She said, 'It's beautiful, I can feel it,'" shares Paul. "In that moment, my wife and I realized that what we were doing was very right."

Handmade Made in the USA
Made from
gourd, acrylic paint, nickel plated steel, baltic birch wood, steel stamped metal
Measurements
5" Diameter
Care
Wipe with soft cloth as needed
Item ID
23520

Still haven't found the details you're looking for? Check out our Product Q&A!

Most of our items are in stock and will ship quickly. Orders for in-stock items placed before 5pm ET Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays, will ship:
Economy shipping:
within 8 days, arriving no later than the 9th business day after the order was placed.
Standard shipping:
within 4 days, arriving 5 business days after the order was placed.
Preferred shipping:
within 2 days, arriving 3 business days after the order was placed.
Expedited shipping:
within 1 day, arriving 2 business days after the order was placed.
Express shipping:
will ship the same day and arrive 1 business day later.

As actual gourds are used to make this product, each one may vary slightly in size


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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
UncommonGoodsCannonball Gourd Thumb Piano
 
4.8

(based on 106 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (74)
  • Lasting fun (69)
  • Stores easily (40)
  • Long lasting (29)
  • Good variety (25)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Art (22)
  • Long term use (21)
  • School (10)
  • Music (4)
  • Jam sessions (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Parent (37), Quality oriented (31), Educator (10), Budget shopper (9), Novice (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (136), No (11)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (88), Business (3)
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or hanukkah (63), Birthday (24), Other (11), Mother’s day (3)

Reviewed by 106 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Worth EVERY penny! And, you cannot beat the quality!

By 

from Mount Vernon, WA

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Excellent Craftsmanship
  • Great Intonation
  • Great Sound
  • Highly Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • As a toy
    • Jam Sessions
    • Performance
    • Practice

    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

    From the moment he saw it,...he has been playing it constantly! I appreciated the quality of the instrument...and its sound is great! Thank you for the joy it will bring!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or Hanukkah
     
    5.0

    Excellent gift for musician grandson

    By 

    from san diego, california

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Excellent Craftsmanship
    • Great Intonation
    • Great Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

        Even after reading the reviews, I was concerned about giving this to my grandson who is an excellent pianist. He will be going away to college next year and will not be majoring in music. I thought it might be something fun for him to have around.
        He was tinkering with it the entire afternoon! He indicated that it had good instructions for tuning it and that it was a quality item. This was high praise from him. thank you.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes
        • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
        • Christmas or Hanukkah
         
        5.0

        The perfect gift for any musician!

        By 

        from Auburn, CA

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Excellent Craftsmanship
        • Great Intonation
        • Great Sound
        • Highly Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jam Sessions
          • Performance

          Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

          My teenage grandson used this Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano in his music Youtube performance as an accompaniment to his other instruments. He got it for Christmas and was playing it the next day! It was the perfect gift.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes
          • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
          • Christmas or Hanukkah
           
          5.0

          Great product

          By 

          from georgia

          About Me Novice

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Excellent Craftsmanship
          • Great Intonation
          • Great Sound
          • Highly Responsive

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

              he loved it

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes
              • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
              • Christmas or Hanukkah

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I would buy this product again!!!

              By 

              from Broussard, Louisiana

              About Me Novice

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Excellent Craftsmanship
              • Great Intonation
              • Great Sound
              • Highly Responsive

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jam Sessions
                • Practice

                Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                This was the best gift for my dads 70th birthday! He is a music wonder! Plays many instruments and loves anything unique like this! He played that night at his party and the next day was learning songs! It was a very special gift for a very special person in my life! My dad is not easy to buy for but this website is now my go to for anyone I need to buy for!!! I love all the products and have purchased quite a few for different people and for different occasions! It's gifts they don't even know they always wanted!!
                Thanks for making my gift ideas so special and personal!
                Truly a happy costumer that will keep coming back!
                Stacey Boone

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes
                • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                • Birthday
                 
                5.0

                Love the thumb piano!!

                By 

                from Reston, VA

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Excellent Craftsmanship
                • Great Intonation
                • Great Sound
                • Highly Responsive

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                    This is a very well made and beautiful sounding little piano. I have played it every day since it arrived and love it. I would not allow it to be used as a toy for a small child. Older children who can handle things properly would enjoy it though. I'm thinking of buying another one....maybe a pentatonic.

                    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                    • Other
                     
                    5.0

                    Smiles

                    By 

                    from Grand Rapids, MI

                    Verified Buyer

                    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                    Our son had never seen anything like this before; good to get him an unique instrument. He was able to play it without problems and like the sound of the instrument.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes
                    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                    • Birthday
                     
                    5.0

                    For the Musician that has everything

                    By 

                    from orlando florida

                    About Me Parent

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Good Variety
                    • Lasting Fun

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Art

                      Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                      I have a musical artsy daughter and had no idea what to get her. She loved this and plays it on a regular basis. It sits on the counter and she plays whenever she has a free moment. I believe it decompresses her.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes
                      • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                      • Birthday
                       
                      4.0

                      Great instrument for the desk in my office!

                      By 

                      from White Plains, NY

                      About Me Quality Oriented

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Good Variety
                      • Lasting Fun
                      • Sparks Conversation

                      Cons

                      • Smaller Than Expected

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                        Great gift for a gifted musician with a desk job! For those random moments one needs a musical interlude.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • Yes
                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal
                        • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                        • Christmas or Hanukkah
                         
                        5.0

                        great Birthday gift

                        By 

                        from richmond va

                        About Me Value Oriented

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Lasting Fun
                        • Unique Fun Gift

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                            great fun product and very unique

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes
                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal
                            • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                            • Valentine’s Day

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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