As part of my practice I like to take a song, understand the theory, spend time improvising over sections, play it in all keys, all over the neck. The song I’m currently working through is Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.
The part where is goes, “…bed, nothing seems to fit those” is the section I’m going to focus on here. I’ll probably work on this section for a while since I don’t use these chords in this harmonic environment often.
I believe the chords are Am D7 G- (Key: F). These translate to chords 3 6D 2-. When I section this song to improvise on I’m hearing this is the second harmonic environment.
When I sing melodies over the chords 3 and 6D the scale that naturally comes out is 2 3 #4 5 6 7 #1 (hear in the second environment). I’d like to point out two observations. 1. The first two chords are a minor chord, up a fourth to a dominant chord. This mirrors the same sound as a 2-5-1 (but doesn’t end on a major chord, ie the 1). I believe my ear catches onto this and alters the scale to be 2 3 #4 5 6 7 #1. The 2 3 #4 5 6 7 #1 is the same sound as the first harmonic environment but applied to the second environment (if that makes sense). 2. The 6D ( 6 #1 3 5) has #1 in it which is another reason why the scale gets naturally altered by my ear.
Once the 2- is played then my ear goes back to 2 3 4 5 6 7 1.
Does this make sense? Does anyone have anything else to add here?
Not sure I’m following this… I’m not hearing the same progression you are. To me this song is very much built on F major. I hear a a 6,3 alternation in that section you mentioned that moves to but the 2 then alternates with 5, and resolves back to 1. To me the 2, 5 is very much part of the tension of the “rain drops keep falling…” story though. When I’m improvising it’s very much a vanilla major scale, because the melody is from what I can tell entirely F major.
2345671 will sound basically like 1234567 if being played over the 1 chord, which is what I hear this resolving to, so that second shift back to the 2345671 to me would lead me to think you’re actually hearing the F major pull as well.
Yeah it’s a sneaky one, I even just assumed it was 6 not 6D until I jammed with it. I think it’s important, although not always easy, to actually hear all the notes in the chord. I’m certain it’s 6D not 6. Try the following and let me know if you change your opinion…
Loop that chord and try to actually hear all the notes of the chord. Listen for a guitar line in the background going from 2 to 1# (G F#) as the chord changes from 3 to 6D
Listen to the quality of the chord, it just sounds like a dominant chord
Don’t cheat by using your guitar. Loop that chord on the recording. Sing 6 (D). Then Sing 1 (F). Then Sing 1# (F#). I’d be shocked if you lock onto the 1 (F) and not the 1# (F#)
Try grabbing your guitar and just keep plucking F# over that 6D chord (this might help you hear that F# in the background