Remembering Very Long Numbers
How to Use the Tool:
The Major Memory System is one of the most powerful memory systems available. It takes a lot of time to master, but once learned is very powerful. The technique often forms the basis of some of the extraordinary, almost magical, memory feats performed by stage magicians and memory performers.
The system works by converting number sequences into nouns, nouns into images, and linking images into sequences. These sequences can be very complex and detailed.
The building blocks of the system are the association of the numbers below with the following consonant sounds:
These associations need to be learned thoroughly before going further with the technique.
Starting to use the Major System
The first level, which involves coding single digit numbers into small words, functions almost as a poor relation of the number/rhyme system. It is at higher levels that you can unleash the real power of the system. You should, however, learn to use this first level before moving on.
The trick with converting numbers into words is to use only the consonants that code information within the word, while using vowels to pad the consonants out with meaning. If you do have to use other consonants to make up a word, use only those that do not code for numbers - i.e. h, q, w, x, and y.
At the first level we code each number into a short noun. This is made up of the consonant coding for the number, and vowels that turn the consonant into a word. On a sheet of paper, write the numbers 0 to 9, and apply these rules to create your own memory words. Some examples are shown below:
0 - saw
You can use these words in association much like the other peg technique memory words.
Moving to the second level
Write down the numbers 01 to 99, and apply the rules to create memory words for yourself.
A few examples are shown below:
09 - z, p - zap
Taking the Major System Further
Even though you can construct words from first principles each time, at this level of complexity it may be worth writing them down to make them easier to remember. You can then run through them many times to strengthen the link in your mind between the numbers and the associated words. This will help you to remember the appropriate word faster.
Using Words to Remember Long Numbers
The number Pi is 3.14159265359 (to 11 decimal places). Using the major system and the journey system (see example) together, I can remember this as:
Passing my Ma (3) by the front door of my house
The major memory system works by linking numbers to consonants, and then by linking these into words. By using the images these words create, and linking them together with the journey system, large amounts of information can be accurately memorized.
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