Some experienced guitar players will tell you that the steel strings of an electric guitar are too hard on the fingers to allow a newbie guitarist to start playing right away. Well, that’s true but the electric guitar needs very little left hand pressure to make clean sounding notes. So you can learn to play the electric guitar right from the start of learning, as long as you know that if you end up with little cuts in your left hand fingertips you are going to have to take a break from playing to let them heal.
As far as what to learn is concerned, you will find electric guitar lessons easily on the internet. There are lessons on how to understand the basics in music, how to read sheet music and tab and chord charts for just about any song you would want to play. You can make use of your favorite search engine to find electric guitar lessons. You can search using “complete guitar course”, “guitar lessons”, “electric guitar lessons” or you can take another approach and search for chords for your favorite songs. So just type the song title together with the words “chords” or “chord charts” or “tabs”.
One of your favorite sites when you are learning to play the electric guitar will be YouTube. You will find guitar players of advanced levels of technique showing you how to play songs and giving details of commonly used electric guitar playing techniques like muting, string skipping, tapping, and so on.
Of course, the thing that will put together all the material you have found on the internet is your practice. You will not find any shortcuts – you will need to put in the hours on hard, unfamiliar work that will at first, be boring and unrewarding. This is the way all guitarists learn and all guitarists have had to go through the tedium and drudgery before sighting the light at the end of the tunnel.
The lessons you have found in books and on the web will certainly help you to stay focused but you will probably have to go through a stage where you are wondering whether you really want to learn to play the electric guitar. Questions like, “how long is this going to take?” and “is the tin whistle really the instrument I should be learning?” will come into your head, driven by the physical toll that hours of guitar practice take on your body and your emotions.
If you are learning songs from guitar chord charts or tabs, you should take your time and learn the chord sequences without having to look at the tab. Once you have the sequence of chords in your memory you can concentrate on the strumming patterns you are learning.