Adding B String Notes to Shell Voicings Part 2: Minor II-V-I

In the last lesson we looked at adding natural 9ths and 5ths to our two II-V-I patterns. This is an excellent strategy to expand shell voicings in major II-V-I patterns. For II-V-I patterns in minor keys, the 9ths and 5ths of the chords are often lowered to accommodate the key signature. 

With lowered 9ths and 5ths as well as the optional minor 6th type chord on the I, the minor II-V-I pattern introduces several new and quite unique chord shapes. It is recommended to work on these shapes using multiple tunes before moving on to a wider variety of voicings. These foundational chord shapes will be the basis of more advanced concepts moving forward. 

The example above is similar to the II-V-I pattern #2, with a few key differences. The II chord has a b5 which requires that the root of the chord be played with the 2nd finger. The V chord has a b9 which suggests that the player partially bar the 4th fret so that the 3rd and b9th are both played with the first finger.  

The I chord in the above example is played as a minor 6th. This is a common choice when the I chord is minor, although most forms of minor type chords can work in these cases. It is not uncommon to hear a minor 7th, minor 6th, minor triad, or even a minor major 7th chord used as the I in minor II-V-I progressions.