Locomotion relies on stable attachment of muscle fibres to their target sites, a process that allows for muscle contraction to generate movement. Here, we show that glide/gcm and glide2/gcm2, the fly glial cell determinants, are expressed in a subpopulation of embryonic tendon cells and required for their terminal differentiation. By using loss-of-function approaches, we show that in the absence of both genes, muscle attachment to tendon cells is altered, even though the molecular cascade induced by stripe, the tendon cell determinant, is normal. Moreover, we show that glide/gcm activates a new tendon cell gene independently of stripe. Finally, we show that segment polarity genes control the epidermal expression of glide/gcm and determine, within the segment, whether it induces glial or tendon cell-specific markers. Thus, under the control of positional cues, glide/gcm triggers a new molecular pathway involved in terminal tendon cell differentiation, which allows the establishment of functional muscle attachment sites and locomotion.