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 107 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 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 107 customers

Displaying reviews 81-90

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Easy and fun to play

By 

from Nc

About Me Educator

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Playing And Singing Easy
    • School

    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

    I play this thumb piano by myself when I want to relax. I also let my first graders play it for fun during free time or recessI
    it is light and easy to carry so I can play it anywhere.
    it takes a while to learn the fingering.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No, No
     
    5.0

    Unique Musical Instrument

    By 

    from Lufkin, TX

    About Me Educator

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Variety
    • Lasting Fun
    • Long Lasting

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home use

      Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

      Great little instrument...lots of fun to play & create new melodies! Very well-made & expertly finished!!

      Service and delivery comments:

      Very quick delivery...and item was well-packed & arrived in great shape. (And thank you for using paper for packing material instead of those pesky Styrofoam "peanuts"---always a mess & not environmentally friendly!) Hope to get many years of good use out of this unique musical instrument!

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

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Thumbs Up!

      By 

      from Georgia

      About Me Parent

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

          Solid, nicely constructed. Good sound quality. A musical person would make easy use of this for relaxation and creative fun. Even those who can't play a radio can have fun with this.

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

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Son's favorite Christmas gift!

          By 

          from Osakis, MN

          About Me Parent

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

          Everyone in our house was fighting over it! It is easy to use, and the book that comes with it is great.

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

          sensational gift

          By 

          from martinez, California

          About Me Educator

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Lasting Fun
          • Long Lasting

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

              very thoughtful and true information about service and delivery
              sent web address to family
              thank you

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes
              • Primary use:
              • Personal
              • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
              • Other
               
              4.0

              My hubby the mucisian, loved it!

              By 

              from cumming GA

              About Me Value Oriented

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Lasting Fun

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Art
                • Art And Music In One

                Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                it will be a good conversation piece!

                • 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

                A real instrument

                By 

                from Morrison, CO

                About Me Parent

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                    The piano has a really great sound, like island music. It is well constructed and beautiful. My son (8) loves it!

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

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    A wonderful piece

                    By 

                    from Allentown, pa

                    About Me Parent

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Lasting Fun
                    • Long Lasting

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Art
                      • Long Term Use

                      Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                      Very well made and sweet sounding. My children ( and I) are quick to pick it up and play it. The tone is relaxing and calming. I am very happy that I purchased this unique gift!

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

                      Coolest instrument!!

                      By 

                      from Terlingua, TX

                      About Me Parent

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Smallmobilegreat Sound

                      Cons

                      • NONE

                      Best Uses

                      • Fun and Entertainment

                      Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                      My son is 14 and plays banjo and fiddle. He saw this type instrument in a Bela Fleck documentary and really wanted one. I saw this one and took a chance. He LOVES is. Began playing an assortment of tunes right out of the box! Beautiful and great sound. He loves it!

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

                      Fun in a gourd!?

                      By 

                      from Fort Wayne, Indiana

                      About Me Parent

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lasting Fun
                      • Long Lasting
                      • Wonderful Resonance

                      Cons

                      • Doesn't Store Well
                      • Needs Better Base

                      Best Uses

                      • Family fun

                      Comments about UncommonGoods Cannonball Gourd Thumb Piano:

                      Wood ring provided as a base is too slippery! Needs something rubber to grab the gourds and hold it.

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No, No
                      • For what occasion did you purchase this product?:
                      • Christmas or Hanukkah

                      Displaying reviews 81-90

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