There are several features present in the Thummer that make it distinct from all other musical instruments. It is in these special features that the Thummer is identified with its capabilities to play any type of music in the world and invent new genres and styles of musical experience. A musician that is thinking of learning the Thummer will find that learning the instrument involves mastering each feature one step at a time.
The first and most important feature of the Thummer is the two keyboards that are controlled with each hand. The individual keys of the keyboard represent all of the possible sounds that can be played, with each key being reachable from the basic fingering position. The two keyboards are mirror images, meaning that any sound can be played with either hand and that one model will be playable be either left handed or right handed musicians. This array of buttons is placed with the Wicki/Hayden notational layout that was invented in 1896 by Kaspar Wicki, the first to emphasize a single placement of the hands and used in the concertina instrument.
After the basic keyboard layout has been learned and the musician is proficient with its use, the next feature to be learned is the joystick that is on both keyboards and is operated by the thumb. This joystick is used to alter the dynamic properties of the keyboard notes that are being played. Possible alterations include vibrato, volume, resonance, and pitch bending.
The last features that will need to be learned are a series of possible expressive controls, including motion sensors, breath controllers, and pedals that are controlled by the feet. These are only optional features and most musicians will be able to have full control only using the keyboard and joystick. These expressive controls are expected to develop as the instrument gains popularity.