The kecapi typically has 18-20 strings, arranged on a 5-tone scale. The strings are held with moveable bridges, like other transverse zithers like the koto of Japan. The right fingernail plucks forward as the left middle finger pulls back. The body of the instrument is made of wood, and large kecapis are often ornamented with carvings. The strings are stretched across a metal bridge and 20 wooden pedestals, which are used for fine-tuning the instrument.