I was very much a self-taught 3D artist in high school in Maya.
I went out and bought a few books - "The Art of Maya" and "Maya: Secrets of the Pros" - at the time, and that got me slowly but surely started (it was a bit advanced for me at that age/education level, but it slowly came to me).
Now that I'm in college, I'm also using Max, and the most useful book I've ever had on any 3D program has been the 3DS Max Bible. Not only does it cover every feature of the program, but includes tutorials that step you through everything, and even has a starter tutorial as soon as you open the book to get you to jump in and get familiar with the program and have fun starting off.
If you're not looking to purchase anything, I'm afraid I'm not much help on finding tuts, as I generally only look for very specific tutorials occassionally, as I need them (and generally my answers are in the aforementioned books, or other peeps in the 3D field).
There is a very good tutorial on building human characters from scratch in 3D, but the link to it is on my other computer (if it's still on there...I might've deleted now that I've read it so many times). Anyway, it's a "Joan of Arc" character tutorial originally written by a French-speaking man. I'll post it as soon as I can find it.
Really, I'm not certain any tutorials can teach you the basics, beyond what the programs provide you (the starter videos, and then the help section also has tutorials
), and most of the self-taught artists I know just jumped in like I did when I was in high school [and even most of my college work is: read about it, if it's in the text, and then figure out how to do it/include it in your work]...So my suggestion is actually coming up with something you want to do - and then put all your energy into doing that. As you go through you'll learn better techniques and such - my first model was horrendous, looking back on it, but I learned so much from it...
Here he is : o)