Welcome to Chordie njdoxie! I have been playing for almost 6 months, so I'm still new myself. As an excellent typist (near 88 wpm - and now everyone knows why I'm always so long winded on the boards, female and can type fast!), I know that I can type faster without thinking about the exact letters I'm typing... my fingers just "know" where to go. Eventually with the guitar your fingers will do the same thing. There's no "home base" that I know of for guitar, but on many guitars there is a dot on the 5th, 7th, and 9th frets (there's more, I'm not sure off the top of my head however). That is a visual marker to keep from having to count down the fret board similar to the physical dots on the keyboard. Sometimes the dot is on the side of the neck, so when you're holding the guitar the dots are facing up at you to see easily without having to bend around to see the fretboard. I think that the dots in that location are more likely to be seen on a guitar truly designed for beginners.
As for online training, I personally really like justinguitar.com - Look through his beginner courses. He tends to use an electric and a pick in those. Even though I use a classical and my fingers or a thumbpick, I didn't have any problem following along in the beginning with him. Of course, he's just teaching the open chords there also! For the VERY beginning, I don't think it much matters what the instructor is using as it's all about fretting the chords and practicing those changes, but yes he does show you how to hold a pick properly and to strum with one! Of course, if you're going to pay for lessons... you'd better be doing the practice that your teacher suggests too!
Last edited by mekidsmom (2010-02-07 14:24:51)