I am a self-taught musician, with 30+ years at the keyboards mainly. I play and write for self enjoyment. I might upload something to SoundCloud one day if I ever sort out a decent recording solution (and find the time).
I am rarely able to answer questions related to theory. Sorry, I rarely understand them, and I understand why anybody needs to know the answer to some of those questions even less! Theory follows practice, and whenever there's a conflict, theory is wrong or misunderstood. So don't worry if you don't understand something theoretically. A lack of understanding is usually no obstacle at all, music is an art, not a science.
I guess a chess player that studies game openings is at least more knowledgeable and can communicate with people that share the same knowledge, but it doesn't make him any better at the part of the game where you're required to think for yourself, i.e. the real game, and when he talks to people about chess that don't share his level of knowledge, chances are there is less actual communication taking place than he thinks there is.
The only measure for music being 'correct' should be whether or not it sounds right. Just do what you want to and enjoy yourself!