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cedar thumb pianos

by Paul and Sue Bergstrom $25.00 - 50.00
Handmade

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  • the story

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

  • details
Handmade
Item ID
23519
Made from
brass, nickel plated steel, baltic birch wood, steel stamped metal, Western red cedar
Measurements
6" L x 3" W X 2" D
Notes
Care: Use furniture polish to bring back wood luster
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.
  • the maker
Paul and Sue Bergstrom

Paul and Sue Bergstrom

Paul and Sue Bergstrom live in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia, at the foot of Cooks Mountain. Music was not initially in the picture as Paul cannot sing very well and Sue just enjoyed the radio. But a fateful trip to the Pension Mountain range and a chance meeting with Glenda Allison of Berryville, Arkansas brought both Paul and Sue to their mission of music making. Kalimbas, or Thumb Pianos, became their obsession along with teaching young and old alike the simple joys of making music.

When not building or designing something that makes sweet sounds, Paul can be found with a good book and Sue in her "Happy Place" creating necklaces and earrings from the leftover pieces of gourds and coconuts used in their musical instruments. collection

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  • reviews
  • q & a

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CEDAR THUMB PIANOS
 
4.7

(based on 162 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (118)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (42)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (144)
  • Fun (144)
  • Promotes learning (97)
  • Interactive (81)
  • Effective demonstration (50)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (137)
  • Home (79)
  • School (41)
  • Office (24)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Parent (65), Enthusiast (39), Teacher (28), Collector (22), Student (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (226), No (24)
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Child (57), Other (55), Husband (16), Self (14), Father (8)
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or hanukkah (98), Birthday (36), Other (16), Father’s day (4)

Reviewed by 162 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Thumb piano huge success as gift

By 

from Arlington, Texas

About Me Student

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Fun
  • Promotes Learning

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift

    Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

    The gift is most unusual and well received by high school granddaughter.

    • 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 review

     
    4.0

    Sounds great!

    By 

    from North Carolina

    About Me Hobbyist

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fun

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Home

      Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

      This is a well made product. It sounds fantastic (and even smells great!). It is incredibly easy to use and plugs into any amplifier (we have multiple musicians in the family so there is always an amp lying around). I gave it to my dad for fathers day. He has multiple thumb pianos so he knows how to use them and enjoys them already, but has never had an electric one before. The only downside was that one of the notes (second from the left) did not amplify well. When plucked, it produced a somewhat muted tone over the amplifier, but sounded fine acoustically.

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

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Thumb Piano - basic instrument - interesting!

      By 

      from Roanoke, VA

      About Me Grandparent

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fun
      • Promotes Learning

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Birthday
        • Gift

        Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

        This instrument is basic and nicely done. Anyone can play it.

        • 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 review

         
        5.0

        Perfect gift or gifted piano player

        By 

        from Freeport, Pa.

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Effective Demonstration
        • Fun

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift

          Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

          Its perfect. Wish it came with a storage bag or box

          • 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 review

           
          5.0

          Great

          By 

          from Atlanta GA

          About Me Collector

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fun
          • Interactive

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift

            Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

            My husband used it immediately. He loves it. It is easy to use and my husband can even tune. He and I both love it.

            • 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 review

             
            4.0

            Relaxing and easy to use

            By 

            from Chicago, IL

            About Me Parent

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fun
            • Promotes Learning

            Cons

            • Only 8 Notes Represented

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Home
            • School

            Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

            I bought this for my father in law, but upon opening it my daughter couldn't stop playing. We kept that one and bought another. It's really easy to use and the sound is very calming. It would be nice if you could play flats on it, because the songs are limited with this. Still, it's worth buying. Both version we got were very well made.

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

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            I bought this as a gift. Now I want one

            By 

            from San Antonio, Tx

            About Me Collector, Hobbyist, Teacher

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Effective Demonstration
            • Fun
            • Interactive
            • Promotes Learning

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • School

              Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

              Great for music student or professional.

              • 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 review

               
              5.0

              Works Great

              By 

              from New York

              About Me Hobbyist

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fun

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home

                Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

                Works great whether or not it's hooked up to an amp. Great for your money!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No, No

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                Cool stuff

                By 

                from Louisville, ky

                About Me Hobbyist

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Fun
                • Interactive
                • Promotes Learning

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Home

                  Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

                  Easy to use. Great sound.

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

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  5.0

                  So, so simple to use & beautiful!

                  By 

                  from Acworth, Georgia

                  About Me Parent, Teacher

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Fun
                  • Melodious
                  • Promotes Learning
                  • Solid Wood

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Home
                    • Office
                    • School

                    Comments about CEDAR THUMB PIANOS:

                    I purchased this as a gift to give my son for Christmas. When I took it out of the box and the wrapping, I picked it up and used the enclosed musical booklet to immediately begin playing this beautiful instrument... with no prior experience in playing a kalimba or thumb piano. Now, I'm not so sure I'll give this to him as I've fallen in love with it! Perhaps I'll get another one, for him. :)

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

                    Comment on this review

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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