Quick question.

I thought my chord progression was written in B maj and when I play it it sounds the most wecoming sound. But it sounds better as a B min but I'm pretty sure it's in B maj.

Is it okay to play the root chord as a minor if the key is major and vice vera? or is it that I am actually in a different key?

I'm quite a begginer

  • "wecoming" must be a typo, or a mistake by somebody whose first language isn't English - but I can't edit your post to fix it, because I can't guess what word you meant to use.
    – user19146
    Aug 22, 2018 at 14:34

3 Answers 3


Usually a question of "is this ok?" has an answer of, "if you like how it sounds, then it's ok."

Music theory is not about what you are allowed to do or what you should do in music. It's not even about what will sound good or bad. Music theory is about working to understand why something sounds good or bad after it's already been written and heard.

So don't think about music theory when you are writing music. Think about what sounds good to you. Draw on other music that you've learned to play. Experiment.

After you've come up with something that sounds good, it can be fun and interesting to analyze it using music theory, to try to understand what you did. But don't get stuck thinking too much about what you write. If it sounds good, that's usually because it came partly from your subconscious, and will challenge what you know about music theory, and it won't always analyze well.


Personally, the moment you substitute a minor tonic chord for a major tonic chord, you start slipping into the respective minor key. Change all your tonic chords to minor chords and I strongly doubt your piece is in a major key, even if all the other chords are pulled from the tonic major key.

I've heard some pieces with both major and minor chords for the tonic that I remained convinced was in the tonic major key. One example is the Circuit theme from Mario Kart Double Dash, which sometimes uses a C minor chord for the tonic but sticks to C major chords in important cadences. That game's title theme uses D major and minor chords in a similar fashion. I believe I've heard old pop songs that pull off something similar.

But that's the thing. They still use major tonic chords at the points that matter most--the cadences. Make all of those tonic chords minor and your piece won't really sound like it's in a major key anymore.

And another thing: the characteristic sound of modes depends precisely on their blend of major/minor tonic chords with minor/major/weirder accompanying chords. Without the constant use of chords like i, IV, (b)VII, and v, a piece wouldn't sound like it's in the Dorian mode. (For instance, swap out the IV chords for iv ones and you're in the Aeolian mode instead.)

  • "I've heard some pieces with both major and minor chords for the tonic that I remained convinced was in the tonic major key." Schubert made a career out of doing that, a long time before Mario and "old pop songs".
    – user19146
    Aug 22, 2018 at 15:18

It's not a parallel universe, it's a parallel key! What you do with your own chord sequence or song is entirely up to you. There's no 'rule' to say otherwise. What's happening is that the other chords are also from B, so will most likely fit either way. I guess the V chord is F#/F#7, so is the V chord of both B and Bm. Using chords from each is a well used and accepted idea.

If you find the melody line (or harmonies to it) gravitates to D, Bm is the answer. To D#, and it's most likely B.

The moment of truth may come when you get to the end, and one sounds better than the other. Be aware that the old trick of being in Bm for most of the piece, then finishing with a final B major chord may throw your reasoning. That's 'Tierce de Picardie' for you.

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