TG218: The Darkness – A guitar mag exclusive

Total guitar issue 218 goes on sale in the UK on 5 August. The Darkness are back and TG has the only guitar mag interview - featuring an in-depth and extremely entertaining feature, plus exclusive in-studio pics of their recording sessions.

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The Darkness
Justin and Dan Hawkins are back and they're not feeling shy: from that 'feud' through to their resurrection of the solo and the new album, it's all up for discussion here. Read a little extract of our Darkness interview here.

Paul Gilbert
Teaching Buckethead, technique tips and purchasing power drills: you ask the questions and the shredmaster answers.

One Careless Owner
TG gets a genuine rock 'n' roll relic (the axe that Dimebag Darrell threw at us!) valued by Bonhams auction house.

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Musical soulmates and blues experts Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi join forces on their debut album, 'Revelator'.

Al Di Meola
"Shredding is a bulls*** term for saying nothing at all." TG has an amusing encounter with the jazz-fusion legend and technical wizard.

Seth Lakeman
Hard-touring folkies Seth and Sean Lakeman reveal how they're saving the tenor guitar from obscurity.

And more!
Brand new interviews with Black Stone Cherry, Russian Circles, Alex Skolnick, Ed Sheeran, Dead Letter Circus and Roy Orbison's guitarist Wayne Moss.

Learn To Play

This month we're changing the way the Learn To Play section works. We are now printing the full tab for all of our full song lessons and only using the video lessons (in addition to the tab) to illustrate the trickier 'technique focus' segments.


Dire Straits 'Sultans Of Swing' (view the technique focus video)
Soundgarden 'Outshined' (view the technique focus video)
Roy Orbison 'Oh, Pretty Woman' (view the technique focus video)
Blink-182 'First Date' (view the technique focus video)
Rod Stewart 'Maggie May' (strum along)


Machine Head 'Locust' (riff)

Essentials: Legato licks
Steve Lukather guest lesson
Joe Bonamassa guest lesson
Huey Morgan guest lesson
RGT Grade Five Acoustic
Rockschool Grade Three

Or just click here to browse all of the video lessons from TG218

Gear reviews

Over 20 pages of gear news, reviews and advice.

The many delectable gear treats reviewed this month include the Gibson Melody Maker Flying V, Orange Dark Terror, Fender Super-Sonic Twin Combo, a head to head of jazz guitars, Boss Micro BR BR-80 Digital Recorder, Fret-King Super-matic, Head To Head: Metal distortion pedals, Freshman Apollo 4DC, EMG JH Set, Sontronics Halo, not to mention the usual accessories reviews and Ed's Shed - TG's much-loved guide to guitar maintenance.


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Matthew Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.