When I practice with my band, rather than I carry two guitars, I simply detune my guitar down as needed, and tune it back to standard when I'm done. In the course of practice, I'd say I go down and back maybe 2-4 times. I just wanted to know, could all this detuning and then returning back to standard so many times have a negative affect on my strings, namely the lifespan of the strings or increased risk of breakage?
How far do you de-tune? If its just drop-d or E flat you should be fine. If its drop-c or something along those lines, that kills string life.
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if you tune down your first few strings, it can cause them to snap because there really thin wire, and they get used to their new position, and then when you tune it back up, they have to re-adjust back to their oriinal positions, and constantly doing this will cause them to get weaker and so on and so forth... they snap.
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You should really carry two guitars to your band practice and keep one of them in drop-C all the time and then for the Drop-D well just tune down to drop-d, do the song and then you go back to standard for the rest. Minimize tuning changes and you shall longer life out od your strings. By the way DR strings last a hellluva long time (at least for me) and I play some quite "energetic" music (i.e Seether, Lamb Of God, Three Days Grace, etc...).
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Thanks for the help guys. I really wanted to avoid lugging two guitars to practice, but I guess it must be done.