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

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 (Economy and Standard shipping) or 2pm ET (Preferred, Expedited, and Express shipping) 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.


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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
UncommonGoodsCedar Thumb Pianos
 
4.7

(based on 248 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (189)

  • 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 (305), No (30)
    • Who was the recipient of this product?:
    • Other (86), Child (82), Husband (26), Self (20), Father (12)
    • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
    • Christmas or hanukkah (165), Birthday (43), Other (24), Father’s day (4), Anniversary (3)

Reviewed by 248 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

GREAT THUMB PIANO!

By 

from Portland, OR

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Excellent Craftsmanship
  • Great Intonation
  • Great Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

    • As a toy
    • Jam Sessions
    • Performance
    • Practice

    Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

    Great thumb piano. The quality is REALLY NICE - it is very well made.

    Service and delivery comments:

    Package was delivered on time and wrapped good.

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

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Beautiful

    By 

    from Rochester, NY

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Excellent Craftsmanship
    • Great Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about UncommonGoods Cedar Thumb Pianos:

        This is a beautiful instrument. It has a great sound, and is easy to pick up and play.

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

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        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

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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
          • 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

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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