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

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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 101 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (86)

  • 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)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Parent (37), Quality oriented (31), Educator (10), Budget shopper (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (131), No (11)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (88), Business (3)
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Other (40), Child (34), Husband (11), Self (7), Mother (3)
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or hanukkah (59), Birthday (23), Other (11), Mother’s day (3)

Reviewed by 101 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      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
      • Who was the recipient of this product?:
      • Other
      • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
      • Birthday

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      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
        • Who was the recipient of this product?:
        • Child
        • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
        • Birthday

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        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
          • Who was the recipient of this product?:
          • Child
          • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
          • Christmas or Hanukkah

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          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
              • Who was the recipient of this product?:
              • Other
              • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
              • Valentine’s Day

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Unique conversation piece and fun to play

              By 

              from Decatur, AL

              About Me Quality Oriented

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Lasting Fun

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                  The thumb piano is displayed on my computer desk in my den. I pick it up and strum when I pass by or sit at my computer. I love looking at it and consider it a work of art. So happy I bought it and one other and plan to buy others as gifts in the coming year.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No
                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Who was the recipient of this product?:
                  • Self
                  • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                  • Other

                  Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent gift for a music therapist!

                  By 

                  from San Antonio, TX

                  About Me Educator

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Good Variety
                  • Lasting Fun
                  • Long Lasting
                  • Stores Easily

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Music Therapy With Kids
                    • School

                    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                    This was a great and unique gift for a music therapist working with young children. It is great practice for fine motor skills.

                    Service and delivery comments:

                    Packaged very well in a great box and well protected!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes
                    • Primary use:
                    • Business
                    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
                    • Other
                    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                    • Christmas or Hanukkah

                    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    5.0

                    CANTEEN GOURD THUMB PIANO

                    By 

                    from Minneapolis, MN

                    About Me Parent

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Qualitysounds Great

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                        My son fell in love with an old thumb piano that I have, so we have been collecting them slowly. This one sounds great and it is comfortable to hold. He picks it up all of the time.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • Yes
                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal
                        • Who was the recipient of this product?:
                        • Child
                        • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                        • Christmas or Hanukkah

                        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                         
                        5.0

                        Best present(s) ever!

                        By 

                        from North Carolina

                        About Me Parent

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Lasting Fun

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                            This is the second thumb piano purchase for my son. He is a 23 year old musician, specially a drummer, and he loves them. The sound is so cool and get lots of use by him AND his friends. The craftsmanship is unique and beautiful. They 'live' on his coffee table and make great conversation pieces, as well as functional 'big guy toys'. I'd love to see other variations of the pianos.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes
                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal
                            • Who was the recipient of this product?:
                            • Child
                            • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                            • Christmas or Hanukkah

                            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                             
                            5.0

                            Sweet instrument

                            By 

                            from Evergreen, CO

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Beautiful Sound
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lasting Fun
                            • Long Lasting
                            • Stores Easily
                            • Well made

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                                Beautiful musical instrument. Sound is wonderful. Fun item to own.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • Yes
                                • Primary use:
                                • Personal
                                • Who was the recipient of this product?:
                                • Husband
                                • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                                • Christmas or Hanukkah

                                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

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