The Cabasa consists of a handle and a round head part with a surrounding profiled sheet. The sheet metal is covered with tight-fitting chains of metal pearls, which make rustling sounds. In one playing technique, the pearl necklace is placed in the open, slightly rounded palm and the handle is turned with jerky movements. This creates a metallic rattling noise. In another playing technique, the Cabasa is held vertically by the handle so that the Cabasa head is horizontal. Now shake the Cabasa back and forth. This technique creates a "rattlesnake-like" rattle.