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Introduction To Modes And Modal Theory Modal theory is something that helps us understand how scales work.

It helps us understand the relationship between scales and how they work together as one to achieve the goal. The reason they are called "modes" is they are not actually completely different scales, but rather different "modes" of the same scale. If this is confusing, do not be concerned, just read on and it will be explained. To start, the names of the modes must be learned and memori ed. I know, memori ing things is not everyone!s favorite thing to do and I do try to keep those things to a minimum, but this is essential and must be memori ed. "e will start with the major scale, which is also called "I#\$I%\$". This will be the first mode we learn. The ionian mode &or major scale' is a seven note scale, and therefore has seven modes. The names of these seven modes M()T be memori ed and they must be memori ed I\$ #*+,*. They are &in order'-

Ionian &i.o.nee.in' Dorian &door.e.in' Phrygian &fridge.e.in' Lydian &lid.e.in' Mixolydian &mix.o.lid.e.in' Aeolian &a.o.lee.in' Locrian &lo.cree.in'

It helps to just say them over and over to yourself until you remember them. +on!t forget that they have to be remembered in the proper order. #nce you have these seven mode names memori ed in the proper order then you can move on to the "key construction" lesson. /ere are some excellent materials that I highly recommend you add to your collection. They can help you gain a better understanding of the modes and music theory. Understanding The Twelve Steps Of ey !onstruction

\$ow we will learn about "key construction". 0ey construction in its most basic sense is simply to give a name to each one of the chromatics in any chosen key. )ince there are twelve chromatics there will be twelve steps in key construction. These twelve steps must be memori ed in order, and again there is no way around this. If you look closely at them, you will see a pattern in their order, and this makes them fairly easy to remember. 1note - if you do not know what an "interval" is, refer to the glossary for a definition of the term. "hat we have here is a collection of intervals, each with their own name. ,very chromatic note in the key we are in will have its own name as well as some type of designation as to what kind of note it is. 2ou!ll see that we have some major notes, some minor notes, two are called perfects, and we have one called diminished. The perfect 3th and the perfect 4th %*, major intervals.

The twelve intervals in key construction are as follows:

*oot Minor 5nd Major 5nd Minor 6rd Major 6rd 7erfect 3th +iminished 4th 7erfect 4th Minor 8th Major 8th Minor 9th Major 9th *oot &octave'

#nce you have learned and memori ed these twelve intervals in order we can look at what this means. The twelve steps of key construction will help us name any note in an octave that we may be talking about, and will show us where the Ionian mode &major scale' comes from. Learning The Ionian Mode "#a\$or scale% In this #usic theory guitar lesson we will start to learn about the standard modes, including the ionian #odal scale which is commonly called the #a\$or scale. These are the seven note scales that we learned and memori ed the names of in a previous lesson. If you have not already completed the lessons preceding this one, you should do so before going into this lesson. :irst, we will learn the mode called "ionian" in music theory. This scale is very widely known as the &#a\$or scale&. Most people already know a mode and they don!t even know it, but if you have ever been taught or have heard the "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do" scale that they teach in most grade schools, then you have a head start. The "+o, *e, Mi, :a, )o, ;a, Ti, +o" thing that you have probably heard in the past is actually the ionian mode. \$otice it is a seven note scale, and if you are familiar with it, that it has a certain sound. This is a "major" scale and has the "major" sound. <ery bright, happy, upbeat, sweet sounding, just the kind of scale you would want to use to write a pretty love song or a children!s song. If that!s not what you want to write, keep reading because this must be learned just the same. \$ow, lets find out where this ionain #ode comes from. 2ou do remember your twelve steps of key construction right = "e can find the major scale &ionian mode' simply by using all of the "major intervals". This means that for whatever key we are in, if we use the root, major 5nd, major 6rd, perfect 3th, perfect 4th, major 8th, major 9th and then root again, we will get the ionian mode &the major scale'. I will show a diagram here to show you.

Finding The Ionian Mode Using Key Construction: ey !onstruction >. *oot 5. Minor 5nd 6. Major 5nd 3. Minor 6rd 4. Major 6rd 8. 7erfect 3th 9. +iminished 4th ?. 7erfect 4th @. Minor 8th >A. Major 8th >>. Minor 9th >5. Major 9th >. *oot &octave' Ma\$or Intervals *oot

Major 5nd Major 6rd 7erfect 3th 7erfect 4th Major 8th Major 9th *oot Ionian Mode +# *, MI :% )# ;% TI +# \$otice that this shows us a pattern of intervals to arrive at the major scale or ionian mode. :rom the root to the major second was a "whole.step". Then we made another whole step to get to the major 6rd. But, from the major 6rd to the perfect 3th there was only a "half.step". If you follow this pattern you will see that to get the ionian scale or mode in any key, you would just apply the proper order of whole and half steps. The order of intervals &steps' go like this'hole( 'hole( )alf( 'hole( 'hole( 'hole( )alf 1note - this is very important and must be learned If you start on %\$2 note and move forward following this pattern of intervals, you will find the "ionian mode" &or the major scale' in your chosen key &the note you started on'. In the next lesson we will discuss more about this and actually try a few examples to show you how it works.

*inding The Ionian Mode "#a\$or scale part +% \$ow we are going to use what we learned in the previous lesson and find the ionian mode in any key we choose. If you did not complete the previous lesson then turn around and go there. This one will not do you any good unless you have already learned and memori ed the previous lesson. The first thing we will need to do is to choose a key for our scale. :or simplicity in the first example we will use the key of %. )o we are going to go ahead and write down all of the chromatics in the key of %. This means we will write out all >5 notes starting with % all the way to the next %. A( A,( -( !( !,( D( D,( .( *( *,( /( /,( A \$ow that we have our chromatics in the key of %, we will extract all of the major intervals from "key construction".

Finding The Ionian Mode Using Key Construction: !hro#atics >. % 5. %C 6. B 3. D 4. DC 8. + 9. +C ?. , @. : >A. :C >>. E >5. EC >. % &octave' Ma\$or Intervals *oot Major 5nd Major 6rd 7erfect 3th 7erfect 4th Major 8th Major 9th *oot Ionian "0ey of A% % B DC + , :C EC % "hat we did here was to use all of the major intervals from key construction and applied them to an actual set of chromatics &key of % in this case'. "e could have used the chromatics in any key and this would still work the same. If our chromatics started with : and went to the next : at octave, the same intervals would have given us all the right notes for : ionian &major'.

%gain, since these are the steps key construction tells us we have to use to arrive at all the major intervals, we found this scale using this interval formula'hole( 'hole( )alf( 'hole( 'hole( 'hole( )alf )o by simply taking the chromatics in any key you choose and applying the ",",/,",",",/ intervals you can find the major scale in any key. I would like you to try some on your own now and see how you do. I will give you the answers to a couple of them so that you can check your work. If you get both of these two correct on your own then your are doing it correctly and should be able to find all >5 without trouble. *, Ionian1 :C, EC, %C, B, DC, +C, :, :C ! Ionian1 D, +, ,, :, E, %, B, D #nce you have figured all this out we can go on to learning about the other modes. Make sure that you understand this and can find the scale successfully in any key. Dheck yourself by comparing your answers to the two I have posted above. )ince there are only twelve different notes in all, there are only >5 possible ionian scales you could find. 2ou should have no problem finding all of them using this techniFue.

Learning The 2a#es Of The Modes \$ow that you know where the ionian mode comes from and how to find it, we can go on and learn about the rest of the modes in #odal theory. There are seven of them all together, one mode for each of the seven notes in ionian. Their names must be memori ed in the proper order. The seven modes are>. Ionian 5. +orian 6. 7hrygian 3. ;ydian 4. Mixolydian 8. %eolian 9. ;ocrian %ll seven modes are actually right inside of Ionian because after all, they are only different modes of that one scale. "e will learn about the six other music theory modes together by comparing them to Ionian.

Finding The Other Six Modes I have already mentioned that the other six modes are right there inside Ionian, so you may be wondering where. "e have already learned that the "doe, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, doe" thing you learned in grade school was the ionian mode. In this scale using our fictional key of "+#,", the root note or key would be "+#,". )o we could call this "+#, Ionian", as it would be the Ionian scale in the key of "+#,". "+oe Ionian" Doe( 3e( Mi( *a( So( La( Ti( Doe %s long as this scale is in the key of "doe" it will be ionian &or the major scale'. This is because we know the intervals between these notes are ",",/,",",",/. %nd anytime we use those intervals in that order we will get the ionian mode, regardless of what key we are in &even if its a made up key like this one'. But what happens if we use all the same notes but start with the "*e" note and end with the next "*e" note= \$ow our scale would bere( #i( fa( so( la( ti( do( re This would be a completely different scale and we would call it "*e +orian". \$ow you may be asking yourself "if we are using all the same notes as before, why isn!t it "re ionian" =". I will answer that Fuestion. ;ets think about the intervals that it took to get the sound of the Ionian scale. If the notes are all still the same,

then so are their intervals of ",",/,",",",/. The only problem is that if we are starting on the second note, the intervals are now ",/,",",",/,". By starting at the second note we are changing the key of our scale to "*e", and the intervals between the notes will be different. If the intervals are different it will no longer sound like the major scale because it isn!t. It is now "*e +orian". *emember, music notes just go around and around repeating themselves every octave. "hat makes different scales sound different is their intervals, the space between the notes. )o if we start and stop playing at a different place, the intervals between the notes are now different, and thus we have a different scale. This will become clearer and be more thoroughly explained in coming lessons. )o the 9 modes of this scale would be-

"+o" Ionian "*e" +orian "Mi" 7hrygian ":a" ;ydian ")o" Mixolydian ";a" %eolian "Ti" ;ocrian

Seven Modes And Seven Positions 4 Playing The Modal Scales #k, I know some of you have been waiting for this one so here it is. #n this page, you!ll see all of the modes as you would play them on your guitar to make up a certain key. I am going to show all of the modes in the key of , %eolian first since it is a popular scale for blues, rock, and many other styles of music. I am not going to explain how the diagrams work here as you should understand them by the time you get to this lesson. If you do not understand the diagrams, there is a lesson on them in the first section. So without further delay( here is the co#plete 0ey of . Aeolian1

If all of these notes are played using the , as your root note, then you will be playing , %eolian. %s we talked about in the previous lesson, every modal scale you play actually contains seven different scales in seven different keys. \$otice how the first note of Ionian falls on the E note. That would make that position E Ionian, and if you played all of the same notes for , %eolian but used the E note as the root, the whole entire thing would become E Ionian. )o what we have here is , %eolian and six other modes that fall into different keys. So . Aeolian actually includes these seven scales in thier respective 0eys1

ow lets look at the individual !ositions:

>. Ionian

5. +orian

6. 7hrygian

3. ;ydian

4. Mixolydian

8. %eolian

9. ;ocrian \$otice the optional notes, you must choose one or the other. The notes with the dots in them are \$#T the root notes, but rather "optional" notes. There are two in each position and they are the exact same note, so you must choose the one that is more comfortable for you and not play the other.

Modal *or#ulas *or *inding The Seven Modes The 9 modal formulas will show us how the other scales relate to ionian. "e will start off by assuming that ionian is5+6789:5 #ne letter for each of the seven notes. By assuming this information, we can now label the other scales and have something to relate it to. I will explain further below.

I#\$I%\$ . A sharps, A flats

>

>

+#*I%\$ . 5 flats

>

b6

b9

>

7/*2EI%\$ . 3 flats

>

b5

b6

b8

b9

>

>

C3

>

MIG#;2+I%\$ . > flat

>

b9

>

%,#;I%\$ . 6 flats

>

b6

b8

b9

>

;#D*I%\$ . 4 flats

>

b5

b6

b4

b8

b9

>

"hat this means is that to get dorian &which has two flats' you would take ionian and just flat the 6rd and 9th notes. This is because it will be all of the exact same notes as ionian ,GD,7T for the 6rd and the 9th, as the chart above shows. Its a good idea to have these formulas memori ed, but I found them difficult to memori e this way. "e will go on to "the order of flats" as covering that now seems to make this easier to remember. /uitar Lesson A;out The Order Of *lats The order of flats is something we learn just to get an idea of how each scale is different from the others. It gives us a kind of spectrum of how each sounds, as well how each mode relates to each other. This is just a way of looking at them in a different sense and in no way changes the order of the modes the way you have already memori ed them. The modes are always in the order that you learned them in previous lessons, but since this is the internet and things need to be a clear as possible I figured I try to make it clearer.

"hat we are going to do is jumble the modes up into the order that they would be in according to the way they sound. This will help us see more clearly the difference between modes and the way they sound, and also helps to make the modal formulas easier to remember.

The Order Of Flats L<DIA2 IO2IA2 MI=OL<DIA2 DO3IA2 A.OLIA2 P)3</IA2 LO!3IA2

> sharp

..

> flat

5 flats

6 flats

3 flats

4 flats

..

bb

bbb

bbbb

bbbbb

2ou can now see that each of the 9 modes are one neat step away from the next. Its starting to look like these scales aren!t a bunch of meaningless theory, but that they actually fit together nice and neatly, each one serving a purpose that the others can!t. "e can also now see a spectrum of sounds here, ranging from bright and happy to dark and dissident. Eenerally, the scales that use major notes with no flats are very happy and bright sounding. The scales that use a lot of flats have a darker mood. I will give a general and vague sense of what each scale sounds like and what it might be used for. /owever, my opinions on these will be very general and not something to be taken very seriously, its just a guide to help you get started. Many good musicians can alter the feeling of any scale with playing techniFues and such, so just get a basic idea here and then see what you can do with it.

S!ectru# of #odes \$ased on how they sound L<DIA2 IO2IA2 MI=OL<DIA2 DO3IA2 A.OLIA2 P)3</IA2 LO!3IA2

brightest

....

....

....

....

....

darkest

L<DIA2 very bright, upbeat. Eood for anything very bright and upbeat such as pop, kids music, etc IO2IA2 very sweet, happy, bright. 7erfect for happy songs, love songs, etc. (sed for almost all childrens music MI=OL<DIA2 middle of the road bright scale. Eood for light rock, pop, country, etc DO3IA2 perfect middle ground. \$ot too bright, not to dark. Eood for country, rock, blues. A.OLIA2 gritty, bluesy, warm sounding rock scale. This is the standard rock and blues scale. P)3</IA2 dark, classical metal sound. % *andy *hoads favorite. LO!3IA2 very dark, dissident, brooding. Eood for heavy metal, dark classical, etc

\$ow that we have looked at what this all means to the !lehman!, we can go on and learn a little more about the details of how this works. *emember when I said that understanding the order of flats would make memori ing the modal formulas easier = \$ow we get to find out why this is. ,ach of the scales that include flats, which would be 4 of them &most', are really the same as the one before with the addition of one new flat. ;2+I%\$ C3 .. .. .. .. .. ..

I#\$I%\$

..

AHA

..

..

..

..

..

MIG#;2+I%\$

..

..

b9

..

..

..

..

+#*I%\$

..

..

b9

b6

..

..

..

%,#;I%\$

..

..

b9

b6

b8

..

..

7/*2EI%\$

..

..

b9

b6

b8

b5

..

;#D*I%\$

..

..

b9

b6

b8

b5

b4

)o if you can remember the order that the flats come in, memori ing the modal formulas becomes much easier. #nce you learn the order of flats, you should have a much better understanding of what makes each scale different, and why each one sounds the way it does. Learning To Use The Modes In <our 'riting And Playing To put all this knowledge to good use, you!ll want to start using these scales to write original music, improvise solos any time you want, and play along with any cover song you choose. In order to do that, you!ll have to understand how everything fits together. "e!ll start off by assuming we are writing a new song using our scales. 7ick a scale that you like, in any key you want. ;ets say I am going to write a song using , aeolian. /ave a look at the , aeolian scale below.

Aeolian 4

ey Of .

I can use any of these notes to construct my song. Try playing an , minor chord here or a E major, you!ll notice all of the notes needed for these chords are present in the scale. I!ll go into chords in more detail in the chord lessons, but for now just know that you can use any of the notes shown in the , %eolian diagram above. *emember, in order for our song to be in , aeolian, the , note here must be our root note. ;ets say my song uses , for the root note, and it also uses a E, %, D, +. 2ou can put any of these notes together in any way you choose to make up your rhythym. %s long as the notes you choose are part of this scale, you are on the right track. If you want to know if a particular chord will work, just try it and see if it contains the proper notes. 2ou!ll notice that with this scale you can use the , minor, E major, % minor, D major and + major, they will all work here without stepping out of the scale notes. The reason why it is a mixture of major and minor chords will be covered in the lessons on chords. #nce I have come up with some riffs and rhythym parts using these notes, I know I have a song that follows this scale. That means that I can now solo at will over it using this scale, because all of the notes in my rhythyms match perfectly with all of the notes I am using to play leads. The beauty of this is that I can now play all over the guitar neck at any time, and with proper phrasing techniFue, almost everything I do will work perfectly. Being able to improvise leads freely over a rhythym without ever making a mistake - priceless...

2ou should also be able to use any of the available notes here to find harmony and melody ideas that will work perfectly. ,xperiment a little and I think you will be ama ed at the possibilities, especially because you will understand what you are playing and will be able to come up with new things more easily and improvise things on the fly successfully. Analy>ing !hord Progressions To *ind The Proper Scale )o now that you know how to play all these scales, I!ll bet you are wondering how to make it work with the music you are playing. Maybe you!ve tried to play some of your scales along with your favorite song and it just doesn!t sound that good. "ell now it!s time to learn how to determine the proper scale for a particular song or chord progression, and put all these scales to use in your regular playing. This lesson will show you how to figure out what scale will work best with whatever music you choose. Imagine knowing every note all over the neck that works perfectly with the music you are playing with, that is what this lesson is all about. :or guitarists, this will help you choose the perfect scale for soloing over anything you choose, and for bass players, this will help you choose the group of perfect notes to use with the riff your guitarist just wrote, etc. :or everyone, it will mean a deeper understanding of the music. "hen you know every single note all over the guitar or bass neck that will work perfectly with the music, and the root note, you can phrase endlessly at will, improvising riffs and solos on the fly. To accomplish this, we!ll need to use simple deduction. If you remember your )herlock /olmes, you!ll have no problem with this. The idea is to see what notes are being used by the rhythm, and those will show you what scale the song is based on. In order to accomplish this, you will need to be familiar with the modes and their intervals. :or the sake of keeping things simple at first, we will only analy e things using single notes, and we will assume all of the examples use one of the standard modes that we!ve already learned. There are other scales besides the ones we!ve learned so far, and most of that will be covered in the advanced section for reasons that will be explained there. :or now we!ll assume all of our examples are one of the modes we have already learned. "e will cover chords and more advanced analy ing after learning the basic method. The first thing you!ll want to do is determine the root note. If you know the notes then you are ready to go to the next step, if not, then you must use your ear to get you started. 2ou can do this Fuickly by fretting a note on the low , string while listening to a song, and sliding up or down playing each note until you find that one note that sounds better than all the rest. The root note will usually have the characteristic of being the one note that always sounds better, and works with the song almost regardless of when you play it. This is not a guaranteed science because success depends on your ear, but when you try it you should hear what I am talking about. #nce you have determined the root note of the song, you should start learning the other notes involved in the music. %gain, if you know the notes used then this is not needed and you may go to the next step. If not, we!ll have to go back to using our ear and searching for notes used in the rhythm. :ind all of them that you can, as the more you find the easier it will be to analy e. The next step would be to take the root note and all these notes that are used, and start to decide what it can be and what it can not be. In many cases it is easiest to first figure out what scales it can!t be. If none of this makes any sense, don!t worry, you will see diagrams and examples of what I am talking about in the next lesson. \$ow that you know all of your notes that we need to analy e, lets go to the next lesson and see some examples of what we need to do.

Analy>ing Progressions To *ind The Proper Scale II :or the first example, lets assume that you have determined the song is in the key of ,, and also uses the :, E, %, B and D notes. /ave a look at the diagram below.

This one is almost analy ed for us already and I!ll bet you can see what it looks like. The first and easiest way to analy e this is to simply look at the pattern. 2ou may see what modal position it looks like. Is there any way the scale for a song using these notes could be , Ionian = It should be clear why this could not be , Ionian but I will explain. If you already know the intervals for each scale &and you should', you would know that , Ionian would start with the , note, and then be followed by :C and EC. )o it could not be the , major scale as our scale uses : and E. )imply imagine playing the Ionian position starting on the , and you!ll see that it would not work. )o what else can we determine here using the same method = "e can see that this scale starts off with the root, minor 5nd, and the minor 6rd. If you know your modes and their intervals, you will see that there are only two modes that this example could be. The minor 5nd here is the key to this, as this note is only present in two of our modes. These modes would be 7hrygian and ;ocrian. ,very other mode that you have learned used the major 5nd, except for 7hrygian and ;ocrian. )o which of these two is it = The ;ocrian position would be root &,', minor 5 &:', minor 6 &E', perf 3 &%', dim 4 &%C', minor 8 &D'. That clearly couldn!t be it, because this scale does not use the %C note, it uses the B. 7hrygian would use all of the same notes as locrian except for that %C where phrygian would use the B. )o there you have it, this would be , 7hrygian based on the notes we see being used. )ince we have a lot of the notes being used, you may have recogni ed the phrygian position here already. In the next one, we will work with fewer notes to make it a little less recogni able. If you still don!t understand how this is done, don!t worry, more will be explained in the next lesson. \$ow lets move on to the next lesson and try a little more advanced analy ing, which will teach us some new ways to determine the scale. Ta0ing Scale Analy>ing A Step *urther "part III% This time around we will cover some tricks and techniFues used to make analy ing Fuicker and easier. It is very important to learn the different techniFues you have at your disposal to determine the proper scale to use. If the intervals for these scales are always ", ", /, ", ", ", /, then no matter where you start or stop &playing other modes', you can see a few things that will always be true.

>. #ne of the techniFues you would use is to look for the half steps. /alf steps and where they appear can tell you a lot about what mode you are looking at. The reason for this is that there are only two half steps in the traditional modes. "hen dealing with the traditional modes, there are never two half steps next to each other, as a matter of fact there are always at least two whole steps between them. %s you can see in the intervals, either of the two half steps will have either two or three whole steps next to them no matter how you slice it. This means any time we see a half step we can safely add two whole steps before and after it. This can often point out notes that we did not already know belonged to the scale. 5. %s you already know from learning the intervals, we never use more than a whole step in the traditional modes either. This further agrees with what we just learned above, and if you have a half step it is sure to be preceded and followed by a whole step &two actually'. 6. %nother important techniFue that can help you analy e more Fuickly is to look for "spoiler" notes. These are notes that are rare in the modes like the minor 5nd or the diminished 4th. In the last example we saw a minor second which told us right away that it was either phrygian or locrian, because these are the only two scales that use this note. )ince there are only two half steps, naturally there are only two of these scales that could start with this interval. )eeing one of these notes being used can clue you in right away as to what mode it might be, just like in the last example. 3. The Fuickest and easiest way would be to just imagine playing the position for any mode starting at your root and see if it fits. If all of the notes are the same, then you have found the right scale. :or instance, if your song

is in the key of %, and you know it also uses the %C note, then you know that only the phrygian or locrian modes would fit on top of that. 2ou know that because your song obviously uses the minor 5nd &the %C note', and only two modes start off that way. #k, now lets take a look at an example thats just a hair tougher. %s you can see, we do not know as many notes this time, but the example is still fairly easy because as you can see we have both half steps shown to us. /ave a look at the example below. 2ou can see that we know the key is % &because its marked as the root note', and the song uses the other notes B, D, , and :. This is still a pretty easy example and I will now demonstrate why that is.

)ince we can see both of the half steps, we can automatically determine what scale this is with ease. 2ou may already recogni e the position that is displayed here, but if not lets take a look at what we know about it. #ne of the things we can assume right away is that the + note will be included in this scale. This is because we have a half step from B to D and we can!t have another one to the DC. %rmed with this knowledge, its a safe assumption that the + note is included in this scale. (sing the same premise, we can also assume that the E note is part of this scale as we can see that there is a half step between , and :. If you know your intervals for the standard modes, you should now be able to fill in all the missing blanks. 2ou can clearly see that there are two whole steps from the BHD half step to the ,H: half step. That means that the three whole steps will come after the ,H: half step, and that should give you all seven notes of this mode. If you haven!t already figured it out, this example would be the % %eolian mode. To check and see if this is true, grab your guitar and try playing each of the positions with it. )tart each position on the % note and you!ll find out that only the %eolian position can be played here without leaving out any of the notes we see in our diagram. %eolian is the only position you can play here that uses all the notes in our song. \$otice I keep mentioning the fact that we are talking about traditional or standard modes. )ome of these rules don!t always work, which we will cover in an advanced analy ing lesson after learning about more scales that don!t follow these rules.