John Martyn Solid Air – The Tuning and the Chord Shapes


  1. Darrel Mayhead

    You mean the 11th, the 7th and the 9th, not the 7th, 9th and 11th (from the order they're tuned). 1 b3 5 11 b7 9.

  2. Joachim Rosendahl

    It is indeed a beautiful tuning. I have tinkered around with it before. It is however quite limited. Everything sounds like J.M and Solid Air. But again. ..It has a beautiful timbre. I think the comment is right about the D tuning. The way I understand it John Martyn played his songs in the rhythm, style, key that suited him best in the moment. Solid Air was probably recorded with the C-tuning. He sings far more gentle on the record than he does live. He probably tuned to D often when performing live. One can push the vocals a bit more in that tuning than in the lower C. And as they say in the comments below. Look at the German Rockpalast Video. He is tuning up. …when he is breaking the string. I have actually checked this before, many years ago, I tuned the guitar to. …must have been the C tuning and played along with the video. …but he plays it in the D tuning. …I seem to recall. But I can be wrong.

  3. InvertedEarMusic

    Thanks for this.

    See John tune up for this after a string snaps, in this brilliant version, by searching: "John Martyn – Solid Air (Germany 1978)"

  4. Johan B

    Hold it right there: bottom strings are D – Bb – F (which is Dm+5), top strings are Cm. Also check out Vicki Genval's DAFGCE tuning…

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