How to practice the Major system?

I’m new to memory techniques, but I’m determined to learn the major system. I have already set up images for 00-99, and it’s a mix of people and objects. I just wanna ask for efficient ways of practicing so I could get used to all the images. Thanks, everyone.


Welcome to the site! :slight_smile:

You can use this random number generator to practice each image and find out which ones you tend to forget. It prints out the numbers from 00 to 99 only once in each group to make sure that you practice all of them.


Thank you so much. Also, does it matter that I’m using persons and objects. Should I just stick to either one?

You might want a list of people and objects. I rarely use my “Major people” list, but when I do, it’s been helpful. If you ever need to distinguish number groups from one another—for example, if you’re memorizing pi in groups of six numbers, or you’re showing your friends how you can memorize all of their drivers license numbers—then it can be helpful to start each new group of numbers with a person instead of an object. Sometimes, a person just works better in a situation than an object does. (My usual 14 association is a Valentine’s Day heart. But sometimes it works better to have 14 represented by my person for that number, actress Debbie Reynolds.)

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your Major associations as you go along, though. Just because you’ve established 0-99 doesn’t mean you have to stick with those images if you find they don’t work well for you. I’ve been at this a couple of years, and I’m still not happy with my “compromise” images for 7 and 26.



If it’s a 2-digit system where each 2-digit number gets just one image (not a PAO System), then it doesn’t matter. You can mix the images however you want. You might also be interested the how to memorize numbers video.

My 2-digit system is a mix of various things: a glass of iced tea, a satellite, Otis Redding, Albert Einstein, wasabi paste, a pufferfish, a samba dancer, Zeus, Catwoman, a harp, etc.

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I’ve got to admit, when I first read your reply, I just thought, “Well, that’s a non sequitur!” And I wrote it off as a reply to the wrong thread or something.

A couple of hours later, I was taking a shower, thinking, “Why did he say ‘Nietzche’? Did I say something that reminded him of N?”

And then the light dawned! “Nietzche” = 26!

Thank you! Although I don’t have an image for Nietzche—and probably wouldn’t remember him if I stuck him into a scene—you did get me started on a path. My natural tendency is to start and end my Major words with the sounds they represent, so I don’t usually have any dangling “y’s” or other syllables at the end. But, encouraged by your suggestion, I’ve decided to give “nacho” a try, since food is always memorable for me. :slight_smile:



Lol. The one time I’m terse it turns out I didn’t say enough!

I thought it was a cool encoding but I don’t want Nietzsche in my head either. Perhaps Liam can use him, he’s the philosopher.

nacho is good! I have ‘hinge’ right now which I’m not crazy about either so thanks!

Thank you so much :slight_smile:

How do we remember that the number 35 is, say, Clint Eastwood? We can’t associate Eastwood with “35” because “35” has no personality, nothing in and of itself that’s special enough for the memory. The only thing we have is that 3 is the third letter of the alphabet ©, and 5 is the fifth letter of the alphabet (E). So how do you associate 35 with CE and CE with Clint Eastwood? You have to repeat the association over and over and over again. It’s that simple.

This is the way I secured the Major System in less than a day (and I’m not the only one). Over and over again. Backwards and forwards. Rote method may even be necessary at the beginning, at the base level of a particular system, upon which you then leave rote behind and build on the imagery.

This is how I learned the Dominic System. Just repeating it all, sometimes in my mind, sometimes as a murmur, sometimes out loud in a conversational tone.

As a result, whenever I see the number 35, I don’t “see” 35, I “see” Clint Eastwood. By constant, daily repetition, I forced my mind to work in that direction. It was fun and, after all the numbers (00-99) finally came easily each time, exhilarating.

I can create a series of images to recall a line of poetry, vivid images, but if I don’t go over it again and again until it’s automatic, then it gets lost, it fades away.

Don’t confuse repetition with rote. Repetition with strong images isn’t rote. It’s reinforcement

Check out this : Guide to memorizing PAO/PA system for beginners (like me)

Just to be clear: Using “Clint Eastwood” for 35 is a Dominic System association, not Major.

In Major, 3 is “M” and 5 is “L.” When you know which consonant sounds the Major system associates with which numbers, that goes a long way to jogging one’s memory. I don’t believe it’s a question of brute-force rote memorization.

Besides, if you know the fundamentals of your system—Major, Dominic, or whatever—then it doesn’t matter whether you remember that specific association or not. You don’t always have to have the same association linked to the same number. You can come up with a completely different one on the spur of the moment, if you want. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that whatever association you create fits your system, so you’ll be able to interpret it correctly during recall. (Of course, in competition it helps to always use the same associations, just for the sake of speed/efficiency.)

If you don’t remember that 35 was supposed to be Clint Eastwood, use whatever name comes to mind that starts with C and E, if that’s how your system works. You’ll still know, when you encounter your friend Carruthers Eberling, that he represents 35 because he’s got a C and E name. (After all, if you encounter a sequence of “3535,” I’d think it’d make a more interesting image to see Carruthers and Clint face off than to just have two Clints looking at each other.)


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I learned the Major System
In one day using Nelson Dellis’ mnemonic guide to it from his book and YouTube post.

I learned it that day eight months ago and use this every single day!
Do it now!

How can you not make 26 Britney Spears ??? :dancing_women:

Well, first, I was talking about my “objects/others” list, not my “persons” Major list.

And, second, “Britney Spears” doesn’t fit 26 in the Major system. “Britney Spears” would be 90 in the Major system.

So that’s why. :wink:


that explains why i failed to learn my numbers with the major… sorry for my failed attempt to joke, well made me laugh till this instant, now I feel weird. whats the system where 0 is O and nine is N ? and 2 is b ? Or am I still mixing them all up. oh well, if it works in the end thats what counts I guess right !? Cheers !

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Major System goes stnmrljkfb vowels, h,y, w never count

7 can be a BOOMERANG. Go to ggogle, type boomerang clipart

26 is the alphabet Table. At school my mother had to buy an alphabet table. I had the letters in capital and small case on one cardboard.

So if I were to make a PAO with the major system. It would have to be all names of people?

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That is what “person” implies, isn’t it? But they’ll probably let you get away with using Optimus Prime or Roger Rabbit as a “person.”

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Yes, the PAO system uses people, but like @bjoern.gumboldt mentioned, you can use anything that can be imagined as humanoid as a “person”. I can imagine my phone having arms and legs, so even that could be a “person”, if it works for you.

If you don’t want to use 100 people in your system, then you could use a basic, single-image major system without PAO.