The nonlinear bending and vibrations of tapered beams made of axially functionally graded (AFG) material are analysed numerically. For a clamped–clamped boundary conditions, Hamilton’s principle is employed so as to balance the potential and kinetic energies, the virtual work done by the damping, and that done by external distributed load. The nonlinear strain–displacement relations are employed to address the geometric nonlinearities originating from large deflections and induced nonlinear tension. Exponential distributions along the length are assumed for the mass density, moduli of elasticity, Poisson’s ratio, and cross-sectional area of the AFG tapered beam; the non-uniform mechanical properties and geometry of the beam along the length make the system asymmetric with respect to the axial coordinate. This non-uniform continuous system is discretised via the Galerkin modal decomposition approach, taking into account a large number of symmetric and asymmetric modes. The linear results are compared and validated with the published results in the literature. The nonlinear results are computed for both static and dynamic cases. The effect of different tapered ratios as well as the gradient index is investigated; the numerical results highlight the importance of employing a high-dimensional discretised model in the analysis of AFG tapered beams.