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How to Yodel for the Non-Yodeling Yodeler

Updated on December 14, 2017


I admit it. Every now and again I am totally overcome by the sudden urge to yodel.

It's not something I admit to easily, being the uptight,straight-laced kind of person I am. It isn't exactly something you might want to put on your CSV or CRV or whatever that thing is where you summarize yourself on a piece of paper for potential employers. You don't want a potential employer to glance at your CVR and say "well...I see here you are taken by the uncontrollable desire, now and again, to break out into a yodel?..." Somehow I just don't think the average CEO would be all that impressed.

It is well known that we Canadians, as a rule, refrain from yodeling in public places. It just isn't done up here in the Great White North.

Not that yodeling is something to be ashamed of. In fact, the entire human population, to be statistical about this, falls into one or the other of just two categories: those who yodel, and those who don't. There is no in-between, gray area when it comes to this activity. Yodeling falls into a class all it's own. Indeed, the sociological division of this distorted chanting falls somewhere between 'loopy' and 'deranged' in the Dictionary of Civilized Behaviour. (My copy of that book is so dog-eared it needs a license.)

However, having admitted to the fact that I yodel uncontrollably, (and you do believe me don't you?) let's proceed to outline a few points,stratagems,tricks,feints and tips in general on the Art of Howling in Falsetto. After all, you never know when you will be called upon to titter on a high note, by someone you wish to impress, so it's best you learn it.

Yodeling Outfits

Always Wait for one hour after Eating Before Attempting to Yodel

We don't have records or recordings that go back further than the invention of the record-player,but it is my guess that people have been yodeling as a traditional pastime way before radio started and the yodels from singers were just as big hits with the locals as a hit song would be on the radio today. Yodeling is nothing less than giving a sort of tickle to the tonsils and is best described as inspired shrieking. Wylie Gustafson, I'm told, was a great exemplar in the 1930s with his chest filled with air he could yodel till he collapsed or died, whichever came first. Give a child a violin to scratch with a bow and it won't be half as irritating as the listening to an Australian yodeller by a long shot. Jimmie Rdgers was another popular pervayer of the art unless he was just expressing the fact he had just sat on a tack, which is also possible.

1.What You Need to Yodel

1. An outfit. Depending on what type of yodeling you plan to do, Western or Alpine, you will need an outfit to dress the part. Western yodelers wear cowboy -duds and Alpine yodelers wear leather britches and a green hat with a feather (but this is optional).

2. A large gymnasium, canyon, or mountain pass, ravine or abyss where you can practise.

3. The absence of dogs, psychiatrists, anyone with a video camera (These are all so obvious no explanation is required.)

4. Noise-canceling, industrial head-phones.

Shirley Temple Yodeling
Shirley Temple Yodeling

2. The Mechanics of Yodeling

Before yodeling you need to warm up first. Try singing 'la-la-la-la-la' in occidentals,and accidentals beginning in the key of 'Gee' and ending in the key of 'whiz'.

Sing it it in triplets, then quadruplets, then quintuplets and then get a baby-sitter because you will need one.


  • Never yodel under water.
  • Always wait for two hours after eating to begin yodeling.
  • It is considered a transgression for an orthodox Jew to yodel on the Sabbath.

History of Yodeling

Socrates was said to have emerged from his mother's womb caterwauling discordantly and Diogenes bawled atonally for days on end until he was pushed off the Parthenon.

James Madison warbled his way through college, having other students and teachers pay him not to do it, (the money being used on his tuition.)

Shelley, Keats and Byron had a 'Midnight Yodeling Society' where they met under full moons in grottoes and loftily bellowed in harmony, polyphony and misanthropy.

And so the stories go on and on. The history of musical chirrups,non-melodic crooning, faltering falsettos and arpeggiated cacophonies, (i.e. yodeling) is a road that leads back into the mists of time and I have even heard that one ancient manuscript from the Dead Sea Scrolls has a different version of Genesis. A version which goes somethng like:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God yodeled, 'Let there be light!' and there was light."

And if He did, I'm sure He smiled afterwards.

Yodeling Links

Search Truveo for videos of how yodel
Singer/songwriter Jewel demonstrates the difference between the Swiss and German styles of yodeling, and explains how they evolved into Cowboy yodeling. People who are better than you, featuring the Yodel ... People who are better than you, featuring the Yodel ... Sure, you’re pretty smart and pretty cool - but how well can you yodel?

How to Yodel
The article illustrates some easy methods on how to yodel like a pro. Learn how to yodel like a pro with the help of this article as your guide. Buy some videos that can demonstrate how to yodel like a pro. If your kids, nieces, or nephews also want to learn how to yodel, you can explain them the steps mentioned above.

yodel: Definition from
Library Literature Language Dictionary ( yd ' l ) v. , -deled , or -delled , -deling , or -delling , -dels , or -dels . v.intr. To sing so that the voice


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