Do you use Major or Dominic System?



Hi there.

I’ve been setting up my PAO system today, and I just keep falling back to the Dominic System when it comes to naming. I tried the Major system first, but it just didn’t glue to me. That got me curious, what do you use? Have you tried both, and is there any advantages/disadvantages to either? :slight_smile:


I think you’ll probably have to try it out a bit i.e. using each to learn some things.

I started out with the Dominic system, but I don’t have that great an instinctual memory for people and faces. So I then started on the major system. It took a week or so of using it before that became really instinctual. I created a list of 99 images that were just standard images I could use as pairs using the major system.

Sorry that’s probably not very helpful, but I’m somewhat of a newbie here so maybe more experienced voices can chime in.


It is very helpful, thank you for the input!
It’s always interesting to hear others experiences. I’ll probably have to give the Major System another shot, cause I’ve read some people say it’s better. I have no idea if that’s actually true, but statements like that make me very curious.


In my experience, when people say “better” they usually mean “better for me”. So just try things out if possible. Remember this is a skill for life, not just for whatever thing you need it for right now :slight_smile:


I use a phonetic system … a variant on Major

0: s/z
1: I
2: n/h
3: m/w
4: r
5: f/v
6: b/p
7: t/d/th
8: j/sh
9: g/k


Tbh, I didn’t even know about these systems. I just associated pictures to numbers and made a picture by combining pictures. I still use this method as it took a bit of time to make and all palaces with numbers use it.


It depends, but I tend towards the Major Method, but will sometimes use a sun list or the old “one is a gun” routine depending on the context. The latter is really great if you’re doing a memory stunt and want to associate info with a number. The mentalist Richard Osterlind uses it in a very entertaining way

(Josh Cohen) #8

I’ve tried both. I started with the Dominic System and then thought that I would add objects based on the Major System. (I had never heard of PAO at that point, but it seemed like an obvious way to compress even more data.) Then I tried moving to a modified Ben System.

My current system is a hybrid, modified Major/Ben system:

  • 0-9 = vowels
  • 00-99 = consonant-vowel
  • 000-999 = consonant-vowel-consonant

I like it, because every mnemonic image has a one-syllable pronunciation, and the number images can be used for sounds too.


I have tried both, and I ended up making my own category system combined with elements of various systems.

00-09 - Fringe Characters
10-19 - Sherlock Holmes Characters

every x8 (08,18, 28, etc.) is the number for a physically attractive women, preferably a sexualized women as well, as the 8 resembles an hour glass figure. Images there are women like Boa Hancock (One Piece), Sasha Grey (movie star, ex-porn star), Black Widow (Marvel), Wonder Woman (DC).
regularly, an image also has a number-shape association. 41 and 51 are Hawkeye (Marvel) and Arrow (DC) respectively as 1 looks like an arrow. 55 then is Superman where 53 is Batman, as 5 resembles an S and 3 could be a bat. 00 is an Observer (Fringe), as it looks like two eyes. At 20 however, the 0 resembles a balloon, for Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece). 56 has the 6 resembling Bane’s Mask (DC) where at 86 the 6 resembles Madilyn Bailey’s Guitar (musician) and the arm with fist of the Hulk (Marvel) in 46.
Associations can also be with the person, Shanks (One Piece) has number 21 as he has only one arm, same reason for Nina Sharp (Fringe, 01). 99 is Leonardo da Vinci as he is known as a man who was a master of many trades (so he got the highest number). 23 is Roronoa Zoro (One Piece) as he fights with three swords.

Inconsistent, but still it has proven to be rather rasy for me to remember.


Awesome answers guys, there’s a lot of creativity here. I really want to try the phonetic system, but I think I might like Dominic and some ‘random’ variations kind of like Mayarra did better. It’s probably better the more stuff I try, though. Here’s the setup I’m working on now.

22 = BB = Walter White | Cooking | Meth
23 = BC = Jesus | Creating | Wine
24 = BD = Bob Dylan | Singing into | A microphone

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that would be Dominic System with PAO. Whenever I start with something new, I just dive straight into it and ask a lot of questions, cause that’s just the way I learn. :slight_smile:


Soon you will have the “mothil method.” Rock on! :slight_smile:


Hey metivier, thank you!
It would indeed be very cool to create my own system. That’s something I’d very much like to do some day, but for now I am satisifed with learning from the masters. I still have a long way to go, but I’m slowly getting there. I should try to finish the 0-99 soon, cause I’m excited to start practicing.


@Metivier By sun list, you mean [sun, shoe, tree] right or is it something else?

@Mothil I’m just starting out, so I can’t comment. But, I have a liking towards Domnic’s, but I still didn’t finish my 00-99 list :stuck_out_tongue:

(Karan Loomba) #14

Hey mothil
I have tried all three systems - Dominic, PAO and Major. I currently use the major system for remembering stuff because it is a better way to compress most data, for me at least. I find that having six different events/images for one locus for eighteen numbers (Major) is much more intuitive and interactive than having six different images per locus for just twelve numbers (PAO). I used the PAO to memorize pi to 700 digits and the same with the major system (just to play around with the new techniques) and I discovered that the major system gave me a better and more efficient way to remember them plus I got quicker times. I have been practicing with my major system for about a month now and I am faster than I could ever get with the PAO system. My memorizing PB time for a deck of cards using PAO was 2 minutes and 28 seconds but with the Major system it reduced to 57 seconds, just with one month of practice. It might seem difficult but worth the effort. Hope this helps. :slight_smile:


As said by Ryan Doyle -actor and athlete-:
“When I teach, I encourage them to be unique, encourage them to be themselves. Don’t copy me. Learn from my mistakes, but don’t learn my style.”


I use the Dominic System but use the Major System for the numbers.
ie. 00 Sylvester Stallone, 01 Steven Tyler, 02 Steve Nash, 03 Steve Martin, 04 Seth Rogen, 05 Spike Lee …


I started out using the Dominic System, with PAO. But I later changed to the Major System, and just use object-object interactions with two per locus instead of PAO. It seems to suit me better.


Not to overwhelm you with too much information but in case you don’t know Metivier is Anthony Metivier. He is a memory expert and has a great site (Magnetic memory) and a great podcast. He is a humble guy and supports all the good memory sites like this.


For the most part, I use Major and find it to be a good fit for my needs. But I started out using rhyming words for 1-10, so I’ve stuck with that for those numbers. To make things REALLY jumbled, I use “egg” for 0, due to the shape, and I’ve inserted one Major word (“cow”) for the number 7 because I just didn’t like any of the rhyming equivalents.

It’s unconventional, perhaps, but it works for me. And I think that’s really all that matters; as long as your system works for you, it’s a good system.

(Fuchsia Pseudonym) #20

I prefer major system personally because it only has consonant sounds, while Dominic system has both vowel and consonant sounds. I’m currently working on my palace images for numbers (2 digit, to eventually be 3 digit once I finish with the 2 digit ones) using a combo of major system and personal associations.