I taught myself to throw through watching every pottery video I could find, reading every article, trial, and lots and lots of error.
I really loved this book: https://www.amazon.c...k/dp/1600592449 It may seem odd to learn wheel throwing from a book but this is presented very well with photographs of hand positions that are hard to see isolated in a video.
I agree that it sounds like your clay is way too firm. I didn't even realize in the beginning that it was part of my struggle that I was using hard clay. When I switched over to a different soft stoneware it was amazing what a difference it made. Every once in a while I decide to "use up" some older clay that has gone a little too dry and every time I regret that decision and I remember over again why that doesn't work for me.
If you can, look on this as purely a learning experience. If you keep on persevering and making use of all the resources at your disposal you will come out the other side. I joined this forum a couple years ago as a rank beginning thrower and have received nothing but helpful kind suggestions and a generous sharing of knowledge from so many lovely people with decades more experience than I.
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