Watch the Relatives Next Door online guitar lesson by Neil Zaza from 50 Melodic Rock Licks You MUST Know

Normally we think of soloing or composing a melody in terms of what key it is in. While this is of course correct, sometimes it is the combination of a few different kinds of tonalities that can really set things rolling. I love to intersperse some minor pentatonic into a major progression. Because the relative minor and major share the same key signature all the notes work perfectly. Take this a step farther and replace the relative minor with the simple relative minor pentatonic and you open a whole new door. The maneuvers and riffs that we use in a minor pentatonic lick is very different than what we might use in a straight major progression. Combine these two elements and you are cooking up something emotional and memorable. In this lick the key E major is the key we are working in. This allows us to use E major or its relative minor, C# minor. Being that C# minor pentatonic is the same as C# minor but only two notes less (regular minor has 7 notes and pentatonic, as the name implies, has 5), you can substitute at will the C# minor and C# minor pentatonic (if you understand this you know you officially have the world on a string). Also helping this is that the E major shape is adjacent to our favorite fingering of C# minor pentatonic. Add all this together and what do you get? An amazingly easy way to add color to your melodic soloing ideas!