How To Whistle: A Complete Step By Step Guide For Beginners

Sakshi Thakur
Feb 28, 2023 By Sakshi Thakur
Originally Published on Dec 20, 2023
Fact-checked by Anupama Ghosh
Man trying to whistle on isolated grey background.

Whistling is a great way of grabbing someone's attention, especially in case of an emergency. And it doesn't take any specific tools! You can whistle either by using two fingers, your teeth, lips, or any other way. Here are five different ways of learning the skill.

  • Whistling is a skill that a person can acquire through practice.
  • Whistling is done by making a small hole with the lips.
  • There can be different notes of whistling and different ways of doing it.

Whistling is not a natural ability; it must be learned.

In principle, given constant practice, anyone can acquire the skill to whistle to a certain extent. Keep practicing, and don't be discouraged!

It takes many sessions to learn to whistle properly. One must know the correct placement of the index finger and thumb while whistling with one hand. The shape of your lips and the pressure of air with which you have to blow also makes a difference.

To achieve better outcomes, you may need to reposition your mouth or tongue. But experimenting and practicing will eventually help you to generate a clear, forceful whistle. For a detailed explanation, read along and learn different ways of whistling.

Click here to learn how to whistle in interesting ways using fingers and without fingers.

What Is The Trick To Whistling?

Honestly, there is no trick to whistling. It is just the correct placement of your fingers and lips.

To learn to whistle, a person has to keep in mind three things - the shape of the lips, the pressure of air to blow with, and the placement of the tongue. Begin by puckering your lips.

Shape your lips to make a small hole between your upper and lower lips and blow air through it.

Use the full force of your lungs to expel a gush of air through your lips, and use your tongue to direct the air. The pressure must be maintained, or else it would result in spitting and not whistling.

The middle of the tongue plays a major role.

Blowing the perfect amount of air is crucial. This is the most difficult stage, and acquiring a feel for the proper quantity of air to blow is something that many non-whistlers struggle with.

It's important to remember that whistling is not about the power of your lungs but about finesse. You do not have to stress your lungs; it is not needed.

When it comes to whistling, no one form is standard. You have to test various styles to find your comfort zone.

If you are using your fingers, then try to immerse only the tip and create a shape through which air can pass. You can join the tip of your index finger and the tip of your thumb and try to blow. This works for many people.

Once you get the hang of it, practice will make things smooth. The sound of your whistle will also be high and clear.

How To Whistle Without Using Fingers

It is not rocket science to learn how to whistle.

While many people can whistle with their fingers, for others, it seems an impossible task. It is about learning and mastering the fundamentals before progressing to the next level. Follow these simple steps for whistling without fingers.

For this style, you can place the fingers close to the mouth. You do not have to insert them; try to imitate the shape of your lips.

Extend the lower jaw and ensure your lower lip is pressed tightly against your bottom teeth. The lips must be properly stretched. Try doing it in front of a mirror to see the shape of your lips.

Simply pull your tongue back in the mouth until it floats at the right position near your lower front teeth. The front edge of the tongue will flatten and broaden as you perform this motion. Ensure there is enough space between your bottom front teeth and your tongue.

You can make a whistling sound by blowing air over a steeply angled edge made by your fingers. The same thing occurs when the tongue and upper teeth push air through both teeth and lower lip.

Now without your fingers, once the lips and tongue are ready, you must try and blow. Take a deep breath and blow air without changing the shape of your lips.

You will have to make multiple attempts before you actually succeed. The sound of the whistle can be increased with practice and eventually will not require one hand to whistle.

How To Whistle With Fingers

People whistle with their fingers as it generates a high pitch to catch a cab.

For this method, place the ends of your two little fingers together to make an A shape. This can be done using your thumb and index finger also. Tuck your lips in over your teeth after moistening them.

You will likely look like a baby without teeth. Roll your tongue and reach your lip.

When the tucking is done with fingers still in, try and close the mouth as much as you can comfortably. There will be space only between your little fingers while the rest of the gap is filled. Now when you blow, the air will be directed through that hole and result in a high-pitched whistle.

How To Whistle With Your Lips

Some people can whistle without using their fingers and create a loud sound too. Here is how you can also whistle using your lips.

Your lips should be wet and puckered. Blow lightly through your lips at first. When you hear a faint whistle, blow more forcefully while your tongue is relaxed. To generate varied tones, move your lips, jaw, and tongue. Keep your lips wet and try different air pressures to get a loud and clear whistle.

How To Whistle With Your Tongue

Some people like to whistle using their tongue.

For that method, wet your lips and shape them into an 'o'. Place your tongue right below your two front teeth. Your mouth should be slightly open. Now when you blow, you can hear a whistle. After a few adjustments in the shape of the mouth, you will attain a high-pitched sound.

How To Whistle With Your Teeth

Some people show their teeth when they whistle. It may seem funny, but this is quite an effective way to whistle.

Pull the corners of your lips back slightly. Don't let your bottom teeth appear, although you can if you like. Maintain a firm bottom lip against your lower teeth.

If you need assistance in establishing this specific shape, push your index finger while touching the middle finger on either side of the mouth. The index and middle fingers are just on the outside of the lips.

Now place the tongue on the same level as your lower teeth. The tongue becomes flat and broad. There will be a space between teeth and tongue using fingers.

Next, you need to blow air through this gap. Close the mouth in such a way that the air is perfectly guided. The sound of the whistle will eventually get higher with practice.


Why can't some people whistle?

Some folks assume they just cannot whistle. They've just never worked out how they can whistle, and they believe it's simply out of their reach. However, there is no genuine proof of any genetic or other variables that would impede someone from learning.

Is whistling possible for everyone?

Yes, with practice, any person can whistle.

What makes you able to whistle?

To whistle, a person must master three key variables: the form of their lips, the volume of air to blow, and the placement of their tongue.

Is whistling hard to learn?

Learning to whistle is not very hard. Even a kid can do it; all it takes is practice.

Can whistling damage your voice?

Suppose whistling is repeatedly done in an inappropriate manner or very high note to gain everyone's attention. In that case, it may damage the voice to some extent.

Is whistling good for the brain?

Yes, whistling is an awesome skill. It is a cognitive skill that helps the brain exercise, as different notes need different ways of doing it.

Does whistling improve voice?

There is no evidence that whistling can improve the voice of a person.

Can all singers whistle?

Yes, all singers can whistle; they just have to practice properly. Practice helps make the sound of the whistle louder.

Why do humans whistle?

Humans whistle to gain the attention of friends and family members. It can be in happiness or sometimes in need of help.

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Written by Sakshi Thakur

Bachelor of Science

Sakshi Thakur picture

Sakshi ThakurBachelor of Science

Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.

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Fact-checked by Anupama Ghosh

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Archaeology and Ancient History, Master of Arts specializing in Archaeology and Ancient History

Anupama Ghosh picture

Anupama GhoshBachelor of Arts specializing in Archaeology and Ancient History, Master of Arts specializing in Archaeology and Ancient History

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Archaeology and Ancient History and a Master's degree in the same field from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. Anupama is a content coordinator with a diverse professional background in sales, academic research, content writing, advertising, and market research. She has strong communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills that she has honed through her various roles. She worked as a research associate, customer care executive, and data intel associate before joining Kidadl. In her free time, Anupama enjoys reading books, watching Marvel movies, and listening to Jagjit Singh's songs.

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