If you don't care about the background story please skip to actual questions i would appreciate any help or direction I can get.
Story: I turned 27 years old on Nov 9th. My girlfriend got me a guitar... This was a surprise gift. I've always been somewhat interested in music, but never really did anything about it. I atttended about 2 months of musical school (with focus on piano) when I was around 2nd or 3rd grade. It never went far because I had no motivation. Although they did say I had good ear or good pitch hearing or whatever that ability is called (there is only one word for it in Russian - not sure if it means absolute pitch or relative pitch). Anyways, so we have been going to a lot of concerts lately (Tom Petty was AWSOME btw) and I have been getting more and more interested about playing guitar. The thing is, I understand it is a big commitement. I do not think my g/f does tho - otherwise she wouldn't have gotten me the guitar
Here is where I am right now. I really want to play. However, I am not just trying to butcher some catchy tunes. I actually want to learn how to play, with the music theory and all. I want to be able to hear something and know how to reproduce the sound with my guitar. I want to be able to play things straight from my head. I want to be able to play from notes. I understand this is a large commitement and I do not know what the future holds. I do not want to be like: "I will spend years and years to get really good" and then drop it in a week. I do want to learn, but I am also realistic about what it takes. Anyways. One step at a time.
1) Am I too old for this? It seems vast majority of musicians start early. Can I still develop necessary motor and other skills?
2) Are there any particular areas I should focus on? I do not care about playing any particular song. I want to focus on things that will give me ability to play any song. Being a complete noob at this, I decided that first thing would be to develop proper motor skills in the left hand. I have been practicing the left hand, just moving my fingers from chord to chord. I am not looking for a shortcut, but I figure there are several key skills that must be developed to make progress. Things like agility of the fingers, etc. I want to hit thos areas in force.
3) There is a switch on my guitar between Treble/Lead/In Between. What is that? Also, what's the diff between Lead and Rhythm? Does lead pluck one string at a time (mostly) while Rhythm plays chords?
4) There are 2 sound pickup thingies on the guitar, and separate Gain and Volume levels for each. What difference does that make?
5) What resources should I turn to? Books, lessons, videos? Again, my goal is to progress as quickly as possible. I could care less about being able to play any particular song.
6) What kind of progress should I realistically expect? What are some milestones to look forward to? If I work hard, where would I be in a month, 3 months, a year?
Please offer any comments or suggestions! It is really strange to jump into something like this at 27... so any kind of advice is greatly appreciated!