Im 18 yrs old and ive been around music for most my life so i know all about music theory and such but ive just recently started composing some music. So my question is - When you're writing in a certain key, are you bound to the chords in that key or can you go outside and use others?

For example, im writing a song in the key of C but i also want to use an A major chord. So for it to be completely correct it would have to be an Am chord but it sounds so much better the other way. Thanx
Theory is just a framework, what you put in it is up to you.
the lesser known of the 4
you can use other chords... but it does make it more difficult to solo over. some jazz songs (i hate jazz) run through six or seven different keys. if you know how to solo over it, you can string it all together smoothly and it will sound good.
it's fine, just if your composing a bassline or a solo over it make sure you don't have the flattened 3rd during the A chord or it may make a sour note.
actually you'll find that when you write a song almost always there will be notes and chords that are out of key, happens naturally and can make a song sound more interesting and less predictable
just look at any metal band out there theyve all done it
Quote by StevieRamone
If it sounds good, wh's gonna stop you? The Chord Police?

haha chord police... here's the thing: theory is intended to describe certain musical patterns, not establish "rules". it gives them names so you can keep track of and refer to them easily. use it to keep track of why "odd" sounding things sound the way they do, so you can remember and reuse them in other contexts.
Last edited by Dan Steinman at Jun 28, 2006,