#1
I was making a song last night and i found the perfect chord to finish the pre-chorus, but it wasn't in the key of the song. The song was in the Key of B major and i wanted to use the A minor chord. Is ok to use it anyway? What are the rules (if there are any) to using chords in a progression if the chords aren't in the song's key?
Last edited by J23L at May 6, 2015,
#2
As far as I know, there aren't any rules for making a song :P If you like the chord use it! Composition is all about what you like as the author. It doesn't really matter if the chord isn't in the key, it just matters if you think it sounds good there
#3
music isn't a formula where things have to go certain places. Music is literally whatever you want it to be. Chord sounds good? use it
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#4
There is no music police that would arrest you for not staying in one key. If something sounds good, it is good. Music is art, you can do whatever you want. There are really no rules.

Am in the key of B major sounds pretty unusual - I guess there's a modulation somewhere. But yeah, everything has an explanation. Theory wasn't first. Everything starts with sound. Theory just explains what is happening in music. Theory can explain anything (when it comes to western music). It is not a set of rules, because in art there are no rules. There are just common practices. But anything that sounds good is good.

Using out of key notes and chords is very common. All bands do it all the time. Most common explanations are modulation, borrowed chords and secondary dominants. (If you are interested, check out some lessons about them - they are all kind of related.)

It may also be that your song is really not in the key of B major.


BTW, could you post your chord progression or a demo version of the song or something?
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 6, 2015,
#5
chord substitutions in minor keys are actually pretty common. your v chord will typically be replaced with a V because it resolves to the tonic i chord better.

also, you can take a chord progression that moves in the cycle of fifths/fourths

fifths: C - G - D - A - E
fourths: D - G - C - F - Bb

and change the chords in a variety of ways, as long as it retains the note that is moving by the fifth/fourth interval

fifths: Cm - G - Dmaj7 - Am9 - Esus4
fourths: D7 - G7 - C7 - F7 - B7

obviously, these might not sound good, but it opens room to possible experimentation with chord progressions.

there are other ways to use out-of-key chords, such as using dominant 7 chords to lead into the I chord of your desired key, or whatever. i can explain it more if you want, but my basic music theory knowledge is sort of rusty
#7
if we talk about a "rule" than it goes like this:
"If it sounds great, feel free to use it"
#8
^ Yeah.

But there's nothing wrong with using it even if it sounds bad.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115