If you are looking to get started with Joints & skinning in Maya, this is a great resource.
Artist, Art Director, and Teacher, James Taylor posts a look at the basics for creating joints and skinning in Autodesk Maya.
how to create joints & skinning for your character in Maya.
Watch James show how to place joints correctly to create a skeleton that deforms a character correctly, and attach the character skin to the skeleton.
James covers and offers tips on creating joints for a character, which you can download here to follow along.
Also covered are Geodesic Voxel Binding for skinning the character to the joints, the hammer skin weights tool, paint skin weights, and the ever so important component editor in Maya.