The frets stand low and close to each other following the heptatonic scale. The instrument has four pegs for tuning. The strings, formerly of twisted silk, are now made of plastic. The player uses a plectrum which she holds in her right hand and plucks either upward or downward in a quick run.
The technique for left hand, which presses the strings, includes glissando, staccato, arpeggio and tremolo. The Dan Ty Ba music is light and cheerful. The instrument is played solo or as part of an orchestra or a band accompanying the singing of Hue melodies or cai luong operas.
Ty Ba recitals are well liked by music lovers at home and abroad. Though related to the Japanese biwa and the Chinese pipa, the Ty Ba has a personality of its own.