I fooled around with a guitar for a year or so, a long time ago. Now I want to get back into it.

Before I just found tabs and tried to play them. Eventually, I started to get not totally awful and could play a few things alright on a good day.

This time around I'm thinking of taking a bit more serious approach. So, here are my questions:

1) Is it really necessary to have an instructor?

2) What should I look for in an instructor?

3) What other methods of learning the basics might work? Recommended books?

Note I'm not getting real serious here. I don't mind if I never learn to site read real music notation and all that. It's still just a hobby. I'd just like to get a decent foundation in technique so maybe someday I can really play something passably well.

books are how i learned, just go to the library and grab a few to learn the basics and take it from there. instructors are expensive and werent effective for me at all althrouhg i only went to a couple lessons before deciding that but people say they are good for them so you should check that out too. books, though, are definitely useful.