Tampura is akin to the veena in shape. It is a stringed chordophonic instrument. It has four strings referred to as panchamom, sarana, anusarana and manthram. In order to increase the sound, cotton thread is interlaced around on the strings. To change the sruti, the strings are fastened to its kudam and crystal castanets (kattas) are fixed here. When their positions change, sruti also changes.
The tampura is placed in a perpendicular position and fingering of the four strings brings out the right sruti. Tampura is used in Carnatic music concerts and other musical concerts for producing the sruti.