Hey everyone,

I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar and have finally decided it is time to start. The past couple of years I've suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and after having corrective surgery about 5 weeks ago I am starting to feel like I'm gonna be ok. I was wondering what steps I need to go through to get going. I've been to a local guitar center and looked around but haven't bought a guitar just yet. I'll probably end up with a Fender stratocaster standard to start with along with an amp. I'ld prefer to buy a little nicer guitar than just a bare bottom line to start with. But my main question is where do I go from here? Should I start fresh with lessons or is there some basic exercises I can learn online to get me started? Given that I am starting a little later in life(I'm 35 y/o) and up until now as musical as I have been is turning on the radio I didn't know what would be suggested. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to spending alot of time on here and learning from you guys. take care.
learn some simple songs off tab, if you want to take it further after that take some theory lessons.
I'd advise taking lessons, at least at the very beginning. A lot of us on UG are largely/completely self-taught, but I think it's a good idea to get a professional to help you nail the basics.
El Gearo:

Fender '69 Reissue Mustang
Fender American Standard P-Bass

Fender Blues Junior
Welcome to the guitar universe! There are beginner lessons on here that can help you. Seeing as you are old enough to get yourself lessons, I suggest trying out a few teachers and find one that's right for you, because some of them can just stress you out or overwork you. But, getting lessons from a true player is the best way to go.
Remember, amp effects sound more than your guitar. But you do want a guitar that you feel comfortable with and that you're proud of carrying on you.
I'd suggest doing some of the things by yourself before getting lessons because you might find that you're not a guitar person-- it does happen.

Good luck.
Definitely take lessons from a local teacher. Anything self-taught can only be half as good as what you learn from a teacher.
Also, if you're comfortable giving out your email address, there is a newsletter that can be had by signing up for it on the top right of this page:
that goes through basics, if you can ignore the sales pitch at the end of every email
Geta guitar and start lessons. Even just the basics will get you a lot farther then you;d think.
35 is really late to start music. An instrument would be fine, but no musical training whatsoever until now is going to make it extremely difficult..
Start with professional lessons first. I suggest stopping by churches, as they are full of guitarists eager to teach/convert you (despite being an Atheist, my teacher's a Baptist...we get along well). Also, get a basic acoustic/acoustic-electrci or fixed-bridge electric. The Ibanez jump-start acoustic kit is a good start...for beginner guitars consult this.