Joni Mitchell's unique approach to tuning makes playing her songs accurately a difficult task.

Her friend and former lover, David Crosby, praised her for her innovative tuning approach.

Mitchell's odd tunings have tripped up thousands of artists trying to replicate her sound.

Her style reflects the welter of emotions she hopes to translate into complementary instrumentation.

She grew up in Canada but later journeyed to the more riotous rubble of Los Angeles, which influenced her style.

Actually her left hand was weakened by a bout of polio while learning the guitar from Pete Seeger's songbook, leading her to innovate her way around this by playing with tunings.

When hospitalised and in recovery for weeks, she practised endlessly and gazed out longingly at the world outside, both factors steadily creeping into her artistic disposition.

Mitchell hears the guitar as an orchestra, with the top three strings being the horn section and the bottom three being cello, viola, and bass.

This gives her playing great depth and a nonstandard approach to harmony that allows for a lilting range of beauty in her music.

Mitchell's unique approach to guitar playing distinguishes her from other folk singers of her time.

She believes that pure majors are like major colours, evoking pure well-being, but there's an element of tragedy in anybody's life.

She had mastered the idea that she could tune the guitar any way she wanted to get other inversions of the chords.

This is how Mitchell's tragic bout of polio inspired her to innovate and find new ways to play the guitar, leading to her unique style.