I disagree that he should not worry about getting bogged down by zone system stuff until he gets the idea of exposure down. I went that route and then had to relearn everything when I realized I wanted more from my negatives. If I had actively pursued a method of exposing such as the Zone System or BTZS from the outset I would not have spent a number of years unhappy with my prints.
Those prints lacked something that did not show up until I began to actively make my negatives meet my vision. In BW this is done by intentionally making certain objects match specific grey tones. If a person is cobnscious of this from the beginning I think they would have much more successes early on. I know I would have.