For everyone that has been playing guitar for a while, including myself, you would remember how hard it was to begin playing. I remember when I first started out I almost snapped cause I wasn't as good as some of the guitarist I listened to. However I didn't snap; instead a friend of mine told me some things to calm my nerves.
First of all, in order to play guitar you have to be patient. You're not going to be a great guitarist when you begin playing. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience. Next thing you need to do is learn everything you possibly can about the guitar itself. Learn as many terms as you can. Then you should learn your notes of the guitar, where they are and what they are called; learn tablature/tabs as well. The next thing you should do is learn chords and how to situate your fret fingers in order to play them. Once you have that down you have the basics of the guitar. The next step in guitar is the power chords, you learn the same way as you did the chords. The next step is not required, however it would be best if you learned it any ways. Finger picking is the next step. Learn to finger pick, a lot of guitar players do this; but not many. All of what I have told you covers basic rhythm guitar playing. If you want to go on playing lead you have to learn rhythm guitar! In order to be a good lead guitarist, it is wise to learn rhythm. Until you get rhythm playing down, don't start on lead.
Before I continue on, I must correct myself. The first then you should learn is music theory. Music theory is very important!
Okay now on to lead. Once you have rhythm down and all the other stuff I told you to learn, then you are ready for lead guitar. The first thing you should get to know, which will always be your best friend, are scales. Learn as many scales as you can, because when you are playing with another guitarists and you want to make up a solo to the rhythm he/her is playing, then scales are the best thing for you. All famous lead guitarist use scales. You will find a scale in every solo. Once you have that down then you are ready to move on to techniques. There are many techniques out there that can really help you out in soloing. One thing not mentioned in the rhythm section is galloping. Galloping is a good technique to use in thrashing. The other techniques that would help both your speed and your control is shreading and sweeping. Learn those two techniques and your skill of guitar playing will increase. The last thing to learn is finger tapping. This technique was invented back in the late 70's by guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. Finger tapping is one of the most greatest techniques to be invented.
Once you master all of this, then I am sure you will become a great guitarist... if you stick with it. I apologize for not giving you more detail on the learning process. However if you need more explanation on the things I covered then just look them up on the web. If you are now an amateur guitarist and you realized I left something out I apologize. I covered everything that helped me learn to become the guitarist I am today. For all the other guitarist out there remember: "practice makes perfect" & "patience is a virtue".
For comments or questions feel free to e-mail them to me firstname.lastname@example.org.