3 Easy Ways to Whistle With Your Tongue
How to Hand Whistle
Hand whistling uses a chamber in between your palms to amplify your breath into a loud whistling sound. While the basics are easy, everyone's hands and lips are different, so the majority of the learning is adjusting these techniques slightly so that they work for you.
Cup your left hand like you are about to drink water from it.Water-tight is airtight, and you need to prevent air from escaping your hands to make them whistle.
Rotate your hand to the right 90° like pouring the water out.Your left thumb joint should be against your left index finger, just behind its middle joint and your hand cupped to the right, forming a “C” shape.
Curl your right hand slightly, as if you were about to give a handshake.Your fingers should be close together and slightly bent. Your thumb will rest on your index finger.
Cup your right hand around your left to create a golf-ball sized chamber inside your hands.You want to form an airtight chamber between your hands. To do so:
- Your left index and middle finger will rest in the space between your right thumb and fingers.
- Your palms will meet to seal off the back of your hands.
- Your right fingers will rest on top of your left fingers.
Touch your thumbs together so that there is a small opening between the bottom knuckles.You want a small, rounded slit – roughly 2-3 centimeters tall and ½ a centimeter wide – like a small, squinting eye.
Purse your lips as if you were making an “ooo” sound.You lips will be puckered out, but somewhat close together. Imagine you are "booing” someone on stage.
Place your lips on the top of your thumb opening at a 45° angle.This part often takes some practice. Your thumbs should be pointing away from your lips slightly, with a small bit of the opening exposed near your chin so the air can escape and whistle. Your upper lip will rest near your thumbnail.
Blow evenly into the opening.Imagine you are trying to blow out a lot of candles at once. You don’t want to spit, blow rapidly, or blow softly. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should hear a clear whistle coming from your hands.
Make sure your hands are cupped.When you blow into them, you should feel the air pushing them apart as pressure builds up. If it does not, the air is leaking somewhere.
- Take a deep breath and then exhale slowly and evenly into your hands. It should take 10-12 seconds to run out of air.
Make the space between your thumbs smaller.If your hands are too far apart you will hear a deep, low exhaling sound as you breathe, almost like Darth Vader’s breath. You should hear a thin, high-pitched “whoosh” of air even if you don’t hear a whistle, so move your thumbs closer together to improve your sound.
Adjust your mouth position.While blowing, slowly rotate your hands up and down. Many people put their mouths right up against the hole. You need to have small space open under your bottom lip, and your upper lip should seal any holes between your thumbs.
Change the pitch of the note by blowing harder and opening your hands slightly.You can always change the note you are trying to whistle. It all depends on how hard you are blowing and how tightly the back of the hand-cave is closed. If your palms open some, you will get a higher-pitched sound than when they're tightly shut. The more you open, the higher the sound will be.
- There are, of course, limits to this, as opening too much will prevent any whistling at all.
QuestionIs it possible my hands are too small? I can't hand whistle.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, this shouldn't be an issue. You probably just have some small holes in your position. Sometimes you can feel the air escaping from your hand. Check the instructions again and keep practicing.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible that I can't whistle because my hands are too fat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMy hands are real big lumps, and I had no problem doing this. Re-check the troubleshooting part of this page for help.Thanks!
QuestionWhere should the gap to let out the air be?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe "gap" should from where your bottom lip rests to the joints of your thumbs.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I put my hands together to make a whistle? I tried but it's so hard.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake a "T" shape at the joint of your fingers (left over right if you are left-handed), now curl them up into a water tight cup. Make the hole and experiment with the hole size to see what works best.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get the tune right?Community AnswerTo get a tune, slightly lift the fingers of your left hand (the ones nearer to your right side). The more fingers you lift, the higher the pitch.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need to know how to whistle in order to do this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. I can't whistle at all, but I can manage to do this. Using the hand flute is more about action in the hands, while whistling is more of a mouth thing.Thanks!
- Keep your thumb knuckles tightly together.
- Try blowing downward into your hands
- Really try to find your sweet spot. Move your mouth around until you find the right spot for you.
- While blowing into the small opening between your thumbs make sure there's also gap for air to flow out of your closed palms.
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