Originally Posted by harryconway
I'll second everything Jay said, and then I'll throw in the "poor mans way". Get a cheap bass rig. Quick and dirty. You can easily figure out how to thump out a melody you've been humming in your head, even without knowing the notes you're playing.
Hey Harry, I'll go even cheaper than that. Before I began studying music I picked up the harmonica. Seriously, I learned to play melodies on that and this is how I started learning the scales. Soon I was creating my own melodies, and became more and more curious about how music "works." Next it was theory books, and asking questions. Learning a few chords on the piano. So by the time I got to music school I already knew a little bit about music.