There is no G# in the Am "chord" - of course not. NOR DID I WRITE THAT. What I wrote is that the A minor TONALITY usually has G#. Tonality is NOT chord. Actually, chord "per se" is a weak notion. What's important within a tonality are the the TONAL FUNCTIONS of certain chords. Not all chords work inside a tonality, and there are ones that are absolutely needed, while others shouldn't be used, or used sparsely. And there are others that, when used, replace, in therms of TONAL FUNCTIONS, other chords. Those are the replacement chords.mbloom wrote: ↑Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:11 pmMusical Gym is completely correct. In the key of C major, Am is the 6 chord (not the 5, so not dominant). There is no G# in it and you can totally jam in Am, when other musicians are playing in C major. It's the relative minor, meaning it has exactly the same notes as C major. No need to make it more confusing. As far as chord substitutions are concerned...that's a whole different topic and too advanced for the OP to be worried about. Even with substitutions, there's no typical situation where an Am chord has a G#.
Which brings us to the beginning: There isn't a G# in the Am CHORD, but there certainly IS a G# in the A minor TONALITY. A "chord" doesn't make a tonality. Am chord (vi degree) in the key of C Major is certainly NOT a strong chord, as isn't the ii degree chord (Dm). Both are usually used as replacement chords. whether it is "too advanced" for the OP or not. Better keep in mind what things are right from the beginning than learning things wrong. You can't and shouldn't use Am chord whenever you want within C Major, unless you want to create a sense of tonal/modal instability.