This scale-key-chord thing is mind boggling. I wonder what is the right method to learning music theory?

Shall we learn about the chords first and then scales or the other way round?

  • There are already several answers to very similar questions on this site. – Tim May 11 '14 at 6:45
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    To learn theory, I have no idea. To learn to play - well, I know my chords, I don't really 'know' my scales, and I've played all my life, I needed to learn chords to play music, I didn't need to study scales. – Lee Kowalkowski May 11 '14 at 20:38
  • What instrument are you playing? Guitarists learn chords first, pianists learn scales first (as far as I know) and many competent folk wind players I know have no proper theoretical concept of chords, as their instrument is unable to play them. – Level River St May 14 '14 at 15:41

To the extent that these subtopics are very interrelated, it doesn't really matter which one you start with. Whichever appeals to you is probably the best, all else being equal. Chords are of course built out of scales, so you could learn some chords first, then something about scales, then analyze the scales that are used to build those basic chords. At some point, if you're doing it right, they pretty much cease to be separate areas, and just become part of your harmonic analysis arsenal. Any scale can be harmonized into a spectrum of chords.

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