This tip is a continuation of my post Ear Training For
Beginning Guitar Players.
Another way to expand your ears ability to hear is to further define the chords that you know on the instrument. For example you may know how to play an Emajor chord but can you recognize an Emajor chord in a song without having the guitar in your hand? In other words your listening to a song and all of a sudden you hear an E, C, D, A, or G major chord and know without a doubt that you are hearing that chord? If you enjoy listening to music then this ability can be developed.
The first thing you need to do is to take every chord that you can currently play on guitar and give it a definition. Play an E major chord and then play an E minor chord. If they were both colors what colors would they be? The choice is yours and no one can say that you are wrong! Play the two chords again only this time decide what they smell like. A little more difficult you say, well give it some time and use your imagination! Play the two chords again and try to think of what they taste like, feel like, sound like, etc. By thinking of the chords in new way you will be accessing parts of your brain that you don’t usually use when listening to sound and this alone will help you to define what those chords mean to you. If you absolutely can not think of what a chord smells like, move on and don’t force it to happen it may take a little time. Maybe just stick with color until you have given numerous chords a color definition.