Making and recording music is a fun and rewarding experience. The only prerequisites to this tutorial are having a computer and being musically inclined.
Step 1 Write a plan of what you want to do. Do you want to build a recording studio? Is it a singing booth? Is it an engineering booth? Is it for computer based music production? Knowing what you want before you start can help you decide which equipment you will need.
Step 2 Acquire the appropriate equipment, such as: amplifiers, microphones, mixers, electric instruments, cables for connecting it all together. A modern computer built or purchased within the past 3 years should be sufficient. If possible, acquire a working high-quality soundcard.
Step 3 Buy or download music-editing software for your PC. The following are recommended Reason, Cakewalk Sonar, Pro Tools (comes with Mbox 2 Mini), Cubase, FL Studio, Adobe Audition, LMMS or Audacity. If you have a fairly new Mac, it will already have GarageBand preinstalled. This will work well, although if you want to be more professional you can also buy Logic. Play with it, learn the keyboard shortcuts.
Step 4 Connect everything up. This is where most of the genius (and perspiration!) comes in. In general, keep it as simple as possible. For best playback quality run from the sound card into a mixer or amplifier and then to your monitor speakers. For best recording quality, run instruments/mics into a mixer(make sure you are getting a clean, clear, undistorted signal) then run from the mixer into the sound card.
Step 5 Learn how to record a sound from an input line and how to arrange pre-recorded sounds. Also learn how to turn an arrangement into a .wav or .mp3 file. (After all, eventually we want to make a CD with all this awesome music!)
Step 6 Select a room in your house. Sound-proof it if possible. If not, try to use special carpet or insulation that can at least reduce external noise.
Step 7 If you have trouble with any of the above, pick up a Mixing / Studio Book. It will help you understand the underlying concepts needed to keep you going for a lifetime.
That was only part 1 of the whole tutorial, on part 2 I will explain more in depth about gears and such. Stay tuned!