A: A number of factors can influence guitar or bass string tension, including:
- Scale length: the longer the scale, the stiffer the strings will feel.
- String break angle: the strings break at some angle across the bridge and the nut. This angle will influence the tension. With a Tune-o-matic bridge, the tailpiece can often be raised or lowered to change the tension a bit.
- String gauge: it’s probably obvious, but heavier strings feel tighter than lighter strings.
- Bridge type: A vibrato tailpiece will have a different tension than a fixed bridge. And a floating bridge will have a different feel than one that is locked down.
- Fret size: larger frets often make heavier strings feel lighter.
- Brand and type of strings: strings from different manufacturers feature different constructions and compositions and can feel noticeably different.
- Neck thickness: the same strings may feel different on a thin neck than on a thick one, because of the way in which your hand grips around the neck and strings.