Buying a guitar
The first decision involves choosing between either an electric or acoustic guitar. Once you have made that choice, the next thing you have to do is to determine the budget that you are comfortable with. If you are really serious about learning, it is recommended that you avoid buying a cheap and low-quality instrument, as such guitars tend to impede your learning. When it comes to upgrading, you will also find that getting a good price for your guitar will be difficult.
Acoustic guitars are some of the most beautiful instruments and can produce tantalizing music when learned to play properly. Most people who purchase guitars buy them with the intention to learn how to play them, but very few go on to become masters of the instrument. If you're serious about learning how to play one, you should first learn how to buy one. Serious musicians just don't buy their instruments from any music store - they learn what the best brands are, evaluate the sound qualities of each, and try the instruments before making an investment.
When buying a guitar, take an experienced player with you if possible. This way, your "personal guide" can evaluate the selection of guitars available and help you pick one that's appropriate for your level of music education (you can always upgrade later as your skills improve). Without your own personal guide, you can ask for help from the store clerk. Music store clerks are hired based upon their knowledge of musical instruments. If you get help from a clerk, explain your skill level and price range.
Having a wide selection to choose from, try out different guitars by strumming them with a pick and wearing strap. If you're not sure how to use a pick or wear a strap, the store clerk can help you do both. While you strum and pick each string of the guitar, you want to listen for a good quality sound. If you hear buzzing or any sounds coming from the guitar that you did not intend to make, look for a different one. A good guitar sound is pure and hollow. And if you have your "personal guide" with you, he or she can help you gauge the sound quality of each.
In addition to buying a guitar, browse through the selection of beginning guitar lessons books if available. Most music stores offer lesson books or even classes for those who want to learn to play their new purchases.