If you have ever taken piano lessons in the past, most piano teachers/instructors will begin teaching their students piano scales, a fundamental concept of music theory.

If you have never attended piano lessons and are wondering where to start, we recommend you start with the most popular piano scales as they are the easiest to learn and memorize.

Why is that, you may ask?

Music scales are the building blocks of music theory. Without scales, there would be no structure to music.

Musical pieces would sound chaotic and disorganized without them. Piano chords themselves are exclusively tied to their corresponding scale.

In other words, piano scales are essentially the building blocks of piano chords.

For this reason, the two go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other, and certainly, piano chords cannot exist alone.

◈ It is recommended to begin teaching or learning the most common piano scales.

Quick Summary:

  • Most teachers teach their students piano scales before piano chords
  • Music scales are the foundation of music theory.
  • Chords are based on their respective piano scale.
  • It is recommended to learn the easiest to the hardest piano scales first.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Piano Is Easy To Learn – Plus More!

Do I really need to learn scales first?

There appear to be hundreds and hundreds of chord variations, which makes it impossible to memorize all of them.

An artist will compose his arrangement on unique chord combinations, and each piece can present a variety of these combinations.

It would therefore be pointless to memorize “all” piano chords.

The only recommendation would be to memorize the most popular chords, which can then be used to play easier pieces by ear.

Ultimately, the easiest way to learn the piano would be to memorize and master the piano scales, as all harmonies and melodies of a piece are written on scales.

Quick Summary:

  • Trying to memorize all piano chords would be daunting as there are hundreds of combinations.
  • All pieces of music are based on the appropriate scale to ensure harmony and clarity.

Related: Can I Learn Piano On A Keyboard? Here’s Why It’s Possible!

Can I learn scales and chords together?

You possibly can.

Got extra time to practice?

If you are inspired to learn both at the same time, then you should go for it.

Chords are scales with notes missing.

The only thing you do not want to do is to focus your training time exclusively on chords.

If there is time to practice and you are sitting at the piano, start by spending a little more time practicing basic piano chords.

Most of your attention should be focused on memorizing scales and practicing them on a daily basis.

Understanding and knowing how to play piano chords is also helpful. This comes in handy, because the melodies of many popular pieces are accompanied by chords.

By simply listening to the melody, some experienced pianists can play the appropriate chords to accompany the melody.

All done by ear.

It helps to know what scale the music piece is based upon.

Scales are super important because you can combine notes from the same scale of the melody and string them together to form beautiful chords.

Quick Summary:

  • If you have the time, you can practice piano scales and chords together.

Related: Is Piano Hard? Find Out By Asking Yourself These 3 Questions!

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