@triple07: GET A SPEAR EARLY ON. And start as a pyromancer, or a knight. Knight starts with a good shield so it might be worth it if you just want to be careful, but pyromancy is pretty handy early on too. I'd go knight, honestly.
Also helps to have a friend to engage in jolly cooperations together. There are a couple demons that'll probably piss you off early on, so don't be afraid to look up guides on ways to kill them. Also, don't hoard souls. Every time you have a decent chunk of them, use em. And don't forget to use all of your "Souls" items, which give you souls. A lot of people I know never used them, and they can really help you progress faster. Just don't use them until you're at a bonfire and want to spend some souls.
I would honestly stay away from guides. You just need the basic concepts. Beyond that, you should explore the game and figure it out. As long as you're careful, have a shield that has full physical, and a weapon you dig the timing and stuff on, you'll be fine. There are a few mechanics you should look into, like reinforcing gear, but other than that, figure it out. It's a big part of the appeal of the game. You just need a boost out of the gate so you aren't totally lost.