The Real Reason Not Everyone Can Whistle

It's hard to believe, but not everyone can whistle. Whether you're out at a ball game, trying to get your friend's attention, or just wanting to whistle a tune, whistling is a desired skill for one reason or another.

But why have some people mastered the art of whistling, while others are left with puckered up faces looking like a fish? Turns out, there is no hard scientific evidence suggesting any reason that people can't learn to whistle (via Vox).

So while it's not a genetically inherited trait, whistling is a learned skill that may take some practice. The good news is, it is likely possible for non-whistlers of any age to achieve, according to Healthline

Whistling champion Chris Ullman tells Vox there are three main steps to ensure a successful whistle which involve proper mouth and tongue form as well as adequate air flow. Pucker whistling is the most commonly used form of whistling and is done by creating a small hole with your mouth to push air through. Most importantly, keep practicing and eventually you should see some improvement.

Other whistling tactics to try

If traditional pucker whistling is proving difficult, you can also try whistling with your fingers, or sucking in air instead of pushing it out, according to Healthline

If you've tried all the whistling tips you can find and are still having trouble, there could possibly be a medical reason why you're struggling to produce sound. The velopharynx — a muscle in your throat — must close to make whistling easy. Experts at Healthline say a velopharynx dysfunction can be caused by adenoid surgery, cleft palate, a motor speech disorder, spacing between the palate and throat or weak throat muscles. While there's no specific evidence indicating this condition is the reason for lack of whistling capabilities, it is a possibility.

But for the most part, there isn't a scientific reason as to why you may be having trouble learning to whistle. If you get tired of trying, perhaps invest in a whistle or other musical instrument to create your favorite tune.