A few years ago I wanted to learn how to use 3ds Max. I remember watching this guy's tutorials [link] on youtube. I learned the basics after a few videos. I became uninterested in modeling after that. I took a class in architecture a while later where we used Autocad (basically the architect's version of 3ds max) and was familiar with the interface so it helped. I can still go to either version and understand the basics enough to model simple concepts for people, and I can fully model houses on the architect's version.
I thought the start screen had a list of tools and shows you how to move around in the program. If not, right click and learn to get around and maneuver the screen and getting to materials. The basic stuff. Once you know how to get around and where things are then you will have the basic skills.
Vimeo is always a good resource for quality tutorials for all levels [link] just search for begginer level stuff and you will find something, also Autodesk is constantly releasing seminars, workshops and tutorials for their software [link] so you better stay tuned to their stuff. And lats but not least CG Tuts+ [link] .