It is better to initially learn chords along with the root note. This is because it will allow you to develop your ear for the root note. You can try singing the root note when you play the chord. If you can do this pretty well, your ear gets pretty good at picking chords to the point where when you hear a song, you can sing the root notes of the chords in the song.
Once you have this down, you will probably want to get into chords with altered bass. Here what happens is the emphasis of a chord is on a different note other than the root note of the chord. This is a very important concept in jazz chording. But to make sense of this, you will have to develop a good ear for the root note itself.
-- My current rig
Guitar: '98 MIJ Ibanez RG520 QS w EMG 81/60
Amp: Laney LC15R Tube, Fernandes 20W SS
Pedals: MI Audio Tube Zone Overdrive, Boss OD3, CS3, MT2, HM2, DS2, CE5, DD7, TU3, Beta Aivin DD2 Delay, Dunlop Crybaby 95Q, Stranger Vol Pedal, BBE SupaCharger
Others: Yamaha RBX 374 Bass, Yamaha MM-6 Synth, M-Audio Fast Track, Shure SM-57, Heet Sound E-Bow Plus
Wanted(pm if selling): EB VPJr/Boss FV500L,Ibanez w Original/Lo-Pro Edge