Abstract Identification of existing instability modes from experimental pressure measurements of rocket engines is difficult, specially when steep waves are present. Actual pressure waves are often non-linear and include steep shocks followed by gradual expansions. It is generally believed that interaction of these non-linear waves is difficult to analyze. A method of mode identification is introduced. After presumption of constituent modes, they are superposed by using a standard finite difference scheme for solution of the classical wave equation. Waves are numerically produced at each end of the combustion tube with different wavelengths, amplitudes, and phases with respect to each other. Pressure amplitude histories and phase diagrams along the tube are computed. To determine the validity of the presented method for steep non-linear waves, the Euler equations are numerically solved for non-linear waves, and negligible interactions between these waves are observed. To show the applicability of this method, other's experimental results in which modes were identified are used. Results indicate that this simple method can be used in analyzing complicated pressure signal measurements.