Well, I should have thought of this earlier, shouldn’t I. If the reed is too hard and licking and squeezing it doesn’t have much of an impact, then take one dental rubber band ( used for practice chanter reeds) and roll it onto the chanter reed, as high as necessary to the tip of the blade, and PRESTO the reed is finally playable!
This is now day two of using the rubber band and I was now able to take it off altogether. Will do the same for me backup reed.
So, it’s been a good two days of practising my tunes on the pipes. The next major challenge is the tuning process. Will do as much as I can, and then take it to the local pipe band to do the rest for me.
After that, I’ll be on my way to being a not to trashy piper for the next 6 to 12 months.