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
Ingredients
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 in the US:
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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well made, substantial, sounds lovely

5

the recipient is musically inclined, but even a newbie can make melodies easily as every note is very natural fit with the other. harp like and pretty

Larger Bay Area, CA

true

I would definitely buy again!

5

Interested in a variety of musical instruments. Ukulele, ocarina, etc. This is a fun diversion.

Dallas

true

Such a cute little instrument

5

The sound of this instrument is very relaxing and smooth. The craft is high quality and better than I expected. Highly recommended for anyone.

Hampstead, NH

true

Encore!

5

Purchased for musical friend to take camping. Great sound. Interesting trinket that drew attention. Fun to play/tinker with. Would be cool to have a case so the metal bars don't bend or get damaged.

Montana

true

Great quality product for a reasonable price!

5

Small musical instrument great for taking on the go/college life when a large instrument is not an option. Fun to play; makes a cute tinny noise.

Watkins, IA

true

Fun Surprise for the music lover!

5

Gave this as a gift to our adult son, who loves music and plays several instruments. He LOVED it! Fun way for him to fidget and make music at the same time. Great way to release some stress too!

Cincinnati, OH

true

WONDERFUL TONE!

5

Easy to hold and use. We are Hams, so I thought this would help with getting a rhythm to Morse Code and using a Key to increase speed. Don't know if it has because we're just having so much fun playing it as it is.

VA

true

A successful gift!

5

Electric thumb piano was a hit! From the minute he opened the package, he knew right away what it was, and started experimenting with sounds and riffs. At first, the tones were very soft, until he put it on the table, which seemed to amplify the sounds. Because there was a room full of people, he didn't plug it in, but he did walk around with it, strumming.

Elgin, IL

true

Fantastic little piece to play with friends and musicians

5

My niece is a music major and very talented. She likes making music videos with instruments I find for her. This one will surely be a hit! I can post a pic when we play music together at Christmas!

Minneapolis, MN

true

My elementary school age niece appreciated acoustic version

4

It makes a nice gift.

Maryland

true

Cedar Thumb Pianos

4.8 301

99.0

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