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JONI MITCHELL TUNINGS
written by Howard Wright
I thought I'd put together a little piece on Joni's tunings because I've
recently worked out quite a few of the tunings she uses, and it's easier
to list them all in one place than try to TAB them all separately.
I hope to get round to tabbing at least a couple of the songs mentioned
in full, but it takes time so I thought I'd write this first to give the
Two 'standard' tunings which she has used quite a bit are the open G and
open D tunings.
Open G is (from low to hight) : DGDGBD
Open D is (low to high) : DADF#AD
I say 'standard' tunings because these have been used by a lot of people.
The open G tuning is used a hell of a lot by Keith Richards for example.
Another favourite of hers is a variation on the open D which I call the
It is : DAEF#AD
There are also a couple of other tunings I've worked out, though I've only
found her using them on one particular song.
Anyway, here is a list of songs with their appropriate tunings. I hope to add
to this list as I work out more songs, but I've got a feeling that she has a
small number of tunings which she uses on a lot of different songs, rather than
inventing a new tuning for every new song.
If you play around a bit you might start to get the song worked out for yourself
- once you've got the right tuning, things are a lot easier !
Thanks also to Jared White for sending some tunings he knew, and to Jimfre Bacal
for sending some others (courtesy of Patrick Willoughby).
Tuning SONG Album
C G Bb Eb F Bb :
Sex Kills Turbulent Indigo
D A E F# A D :
Sunny Sunday Turbulent Indigo
Passion Play Night Ride Home
Cherokee Louise Night Ride Home
Night Ride Home Night Ride Home
D A E G C E :
Furry Sings the Hejira
Jericho Don Juan's Reckless
C G D F C E :
Woman of Heart and For the Roses
Don Juan's Don Juan's ...
C G D F G C :
Chalk mark in a Chalk Mark in a
Rainstorm no. 1 Rainstorm
Cool Water Chalk Mark in a
D A D F# A D :
Free Man In Paris Court And Spark
People's Parties Court And Spark
Michael From Joni Mitchell
Cactus Tree Joni Mitchell
Night in the City Joni Mitchell
Pirate of Penzance Joni Mitchell
Both Sides now Clouds
Chelsea Morning Clouds
You turn me on For the roses
D A D E A D :
I had a King Joni Mitchell
D G D G B D :
Don't Interrupt Hissing of Summer
The Sorrow Lawns
Nathan La Franeer Joni Mitchell
Little Green Blue
For the roses For the roses
Marcie Joni Mitchell
Circle Game Ladies of the Canyon
Morning Morgantown Ladies of the canyon
B F# B E A E :
Magdalen Laundries Turbulent Indigo
Remember that you can tune down and then use a capo to get the same sound
- so instead of tuning to open D (DADF#AD), you could tune to open C (CGCEGC)
then put a capo on the 2nd fret.
I've tabbed 'Free Man in Paris' and 'People's Parties' already - check out
Nevada for those (but use a mirror site !)
If you have any trouble finding them I can mail them to you
I hope to TAB some of the others soon