Cedar Thumb Pianos

Paul and Sue Bergstrom's modern take on a traditional African thumb piano boasts an amp-compatible design.

$30.00 - 50.00

Paul and Sue Bergstrom created by

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

read more about the maker

add to wish list

All Thumbs

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, cedar plank 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 instrument in your hands and pluck the tines with your thumbs. This modern version is also amp-compatible, so it's ready for band play-alongs and to satisfy all your sampling needs! Handmade in Blairsville, Georgia.

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

Click here to see how to connect electric version to an amplifier

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
brass, nickel plated steel, baltic birch wood, steel stamped metal, Western red cedar
Measurements
6" L x 3" W x 2" D
Care
Use furniture polish to bring back wood luster
Notes
Acoustic and Electric versions function the same way - electric will simply be louder if connected to an amplifier
Please note, the Electric Thumb Piano does not come with an amp cord. Connection is a standard .25" jack.
Item ID
23519

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.


We love seeing our goods in your world. Tag them with #myuncommongoods


also by Paul and Sue Bergstrom

you might also like

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
UncommonGoodsCedar Thumb Pianos
 
4.7

(based on 246 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (187)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (55)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun (213)
  • Easy to use (200)
  • Promotes learning (133)
  • Interactive (113)
  • Effective demonstration (62)

Cons

  • No cons (3)

Best Uses

  • Gift (198)
  • Home (110)
  • School (52)
  • Office (32)
  • Relaxing (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Parent (102), Enthusiast (55), Teacher (36), Collector (30), Student (15)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (303), No (30)
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Other (89), Child (82), Husband (27), Self (20), Father (13)
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or hanukkah (164), Birthday (42), Other (24), Father’s day (4), Anniversary (3)

Reviewed by 246 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

I would purchase again

By 

from South Carolina

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Excellent Craftsmanship
  • Great Intonation
  • Great Sound

Cons

  • Wears Easily

Best Uses

  • Jam Sessions

Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

This was a gift. I know the friend liked it

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

Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

 
5.0

Two THUMBS up!

By 

from Glenside

Verified Buyer

Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

This was a huge hit with the teen I gave it to, her mom, and her grandfather. They loved that it could plug into an amp and the sounds is beautiful.

  • 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

 
5.0

I WOULD BUY AGAIN GREAT SMALL KALIMBA EZY TO CARREY

By 

from KANSAS CITY MO.

Verified Buyer

Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

I HAVE TWO OTHERS BUT ARE A LOT LARGER THIS ONE IS NICE AND COMACT

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
  • Who was the recipient of this product?:
  • Husband
  • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
  • Birthday

Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

 
4.0

Sweet Sounds in a Small Package

By 

from Eugene, OR

About Me Parent

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Tone
  • Small Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Home

    Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

    Sweet,sounds in a very portable little instrument. I got one for my grandson and liked it so much that I got one for myself.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Child
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Other

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    Very interesting instrument

    By 

    from Dubai, UAE

    About Me Parent

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fun
    • Interactive

    Cons

    • Not Very Loud

    Best Uses

    • Home

    Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

    My husband loves this. He and our son have lots of fun with it, however the instrument is not that loud so my son loses interest quite quickly :( I should have purchased the one that could be plugged in to a speaker, but it was out of my price range.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Husband
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Anniversary

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Very Satisfied

    By 

    from Frederick Md

    About Me Hobbyist

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Effective Demonstration
    • Fun
    • Interactive
    • Promotes Learning

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift

      Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

      Just as advertised. Liked 'meeting' the makers & supporting local artists. Made a great gift to my musician friends

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes
      • Who was the recipient of this product?:
      • Other
      • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
      • Other

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      The perfect gift

      By 

      from Missoula MT

      About Me Parent

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Effective Demonstration
      • Fun
      • Interactive
      • Promotes Learning

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift

        Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

        I thought the construction was great and it is just a great idea for an unusual gift.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes
        • 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

        Size doesn't matter..............

        By 

        from New Jersey

        About Me Hobbyist

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Interactive
        • Promotes Learning
        • Very Well Made In Usa

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Good For Non-musical Folk

          Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

          This thumb piano is used for recreational learning. Great sound and instructions. Beautiful instrument!
          Easy to take along due to it's small size.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes
          • Who was the recipient of this product?:
          • Husband
          • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
          • Valentine’s Day

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          5.0

          Get one :)

          By 

          from NM

          About Me Enjoys Creating Music, Great Instrument Of Peace, Senior Enjoys Music

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Effective Demonstration
          • Fun
          • Good For Young Old
          • Interactive
          • Made Well
          • Numbers Helps One Create
          • Promotes Learning

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Home
            • Office
            • School

            Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

            quick delivery. packed well

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

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Beautiful Sound

            By 

            from State College, PA

            About Me Girlfriend, Student

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Effective Demonstration
            • Fun
            • Interactive
            • Promotes Learning

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift

              Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

              Got this for my boyfriend who is a sound engineer. Love that it plugs into an amp because he can use it on his looper and can use other pedals to warp the sounds. It sounds beautiful even without the amp. Put it on a wooden table and played it and the sound resonated through the whole kitchen. Surprising sounds for a little block of wood. It was a gift for him but I'm definitely enjoying the gift of his music as well. Great product.

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

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              Displaying reviews 1-10

              Back to top

              Previous | Next »