I'm often asked for advice on learning the guitar. Firstly, choose a guitar that fits your hands and is comfortable for you to hold and play. This far is more important than the style, features or accessories -- or even the sound. Research the web for tips on fitting the guitar to your comfort. Try every guitar in several stores before making your choice. It's like a marriage; you don't marry the first girl you go out with. Generally, Gibsons, Martin, and similar have wide necks, Fender and similar have narrow necks.
Secondly, build up your hand strength with a guitarist's hand exerciser. This will go a long way to making you a good guitarist and hand strength is often neglected.
Thirdly, listen, listen, listen! Train your ears! Learn to recognize chords and notes in music.
Fourthly, Practice scales, chords and tuning the guitar by ear! Then move on to simple songs, playing along with your favorite music.
Fifthly, record yourself and critique how you're doing. you don't need a studio quality recorder, just something easy to use and clear enough so you can hear yourself.
Sixthly, put together a guitar's kit of the basic equipment you need to go along with your guitar:
- Electronic tuner.
- Picks (start with traditional shape picks).
- Spare high-e strings (they break easily).
- Guitar multi-tool.
- String winder.
- (Possibly) a slide if you are into Delta Blues and similar styles.
Finally, search the web for free websites that teach all things guitar and do not bait you to buy something. Following are some of the beginner guitar websites I've seen so far.
- Gibson, Lessons Section.
- Justin Guitar, The Basics
- iTunes Podcast On How To Play The Guitar
- Guitar Master Class, Beginner Scales
May the beautiful music be yours!