Playing styles have all been affected by the introduction of various internal tuning frame mechanisms. Originally developed by Jim Sutherland, the system now common amongst most makers was conceived and perfected by the Glasgow maker David Gormlie, and popularised by Johnny "Ringo" Macdonagh, after David presented him with one of his drums. Kevin Conneff and Tommy Hayes both play Gormlie drums, and nearly every maker uses his system of internal rings tuned with alum key screws held in brassheads. This practice has revolutionized the making and playing of bodhrans by removing the threat of damp conditions to the tension of the drumhead; allowing drumheads to be tuned to various notes, thus permitting the instrument to be played like a double-bass; and allowing a wider variety of skin types to be used (kangaroo, emu and donkey are now common).
As world music in general has become more popular, techniques once associated with other ethnic drumming traditions have become widespread in bodhrán playing.
Lorcan Mac Muiris incorporates jazz and Ghanaian styles into his technique, often playing the drum held between his knees and mutating the sound by pressing on the outer surface of the head, and uses Indian konokkol recitation to provide counter-rhythms.
Glen Velez uses Arab, South Indian, South Italian and Central Asian finger techniques, inspiring players like N. Scott Robinson, Yousif Sheronick, Glen Fittin, and John Loose.
John Bergamo has also explored cross-techniques for bodhrán with the drum seated between his legs and using fingers in methods close to Indian drumming techniques, unlike Mac Muiris who uses a thin stick in an imitation of African Ewe drumming.