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How can I Learn to Whistle?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 23, 2024
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Whistling can be a fun past time. Some people whistle a tune to help pass the time, while others consider it serious business, even entering whistling competitions. If you don’t know how to whistle, getting the knack for it may seem difficult. With just a little patience and time, however, you can easily learn to whistle a note or two.

Start by finding a mirror. While watching yourself, arrange your lips to form a small "O." You want to have a small gap left through which air can travel. Next, position your tongue in back of your lower teeth. Maintaining this position, begin to blow air out through the circle you created with your mouth. Repeat these steps; it may take a while before you are able to produce a whistle.

Don’t expect to learn to whistle perfectly on the first try. You’ll probably have to spend some time adjusting your lips and tongue until you are able to produce a whistled note. You may need to purse your lips tighter or change the position of your tongue. Some people find more success with placing their tongues right up against their bottom gums. While you learn, avoid blowing too hard; small amounts of air tend to work best.

Some people suggest keeping your lips moist as you learn to whistle as wet lips may help you to produce a stronger note. Once you’ve accomplished a decent note, move on, adjusting your lips, tongue, and the force with which you blow to obtain produce different sounds. You may even want to try curling your tongue and positioning it near, but not touching, the roof of your mouth. Some people are able to produce different notes in this manner as well.

When you initially learn to whistle, the notes you produce are likely to be breathy and low-volume. Your whistles may fade in and out. Eventually you may hear sounds that resemble those heard when air is allowed to escape a tire. When you hear such sounds, don’t get discouraged, it means you are on the right track. Keep trying and soon you will develop the right mouth positioning for producing strong, melodious notes.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Musical Expert writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon990319 — On Apr 15, 2015

I sound like a tea kettle.

By anon336077 — On May 25, 2013

I could never whistle until just recently (within the last six months. I just tried it and then I could whistle! It was weird, but now i do it all the time without any trouble. I whistle while exhaling and while inhaling.

By anon320797 — On Feb 19, 2013

I cannot whistle at all and I've tried everything!

By anon228019 — On Nov 07, 2011

All I managed to do was spew out spit.

By anon132365 — On Dec 06, 2010

this is kind of hard to do! I can whistle a little but that's it! I guess my lips are awkward.

By lori43 — On Jun 14, 2010

I’ve never been able to whistle by inhaling klore. I always thought this was much harder to do because you have to let out a lot of air. I guess it’s just different for everyone.

By klore — On Jun 14, 2010

I learned to whistle by sucking air in first. For some people, this method of whistling is a little easier to initially make a decent sound with. If you’re whistling a tune though, it’s a little more difficult to transition smoothly between notes because you have to exhale for a long period of time once you’ve taken as much air in as you can. If you learn to whistle by exhaling, it becomes much easier to take short breaths, which interrupt the melody less noticeably. However, if you can learn to do both, you can whistle songs very smoothly and maintain normal respiratory functions without having to interrupt the song at all. If you really want to learn to whistle the right way, this is probably the best way to do it. Like with anything, practice makes perfect.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Musical Expert writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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