As the bouzouki came to be "acquired", its construction was modified to allow players to play standing up, and has a shorter neck and a flat back. A variety of tunings are used, the most popular being g–d'–a'–d''.
They are double strung - with varying numbers of strings.
- instruments with 5 courses (pairs of strings) are often referred to as Citterns (a name "borrowed" from a Renaissance family of instruments);
- instruments with 4 courses are often referred to as Irish Bouzoukis;
- other closely related instruments include the mandola and octave mandolin;
- some makers have created further hybrids - combining elements of the guitar and the bouzouki, for example.