Home for the Curious Musician

Kiefer on How to Sound More Like Yourself (Video)

+ This excerpted lesson is presented courtesy of Kiefer’s in-depth course on Soundfly, Kiefer: Keys, Chords, & Beats. Sign up and learn to bridge the worlds of theory, improvisation, and jazzy hip-hop, and improve your piano chops.

“I think that at the highest level, the best musicians are the ones that sound most like themselves.”

Now that you’ve watched Kiefer’s latest published video from the course, take a moment to ask yourself: What are you hoping to accomplish with your music?

For Kiefer, the answer is a combination of having fun and making something that sounds unique to him. Even if your response is very different from that, remember there’s no wrong way to make music — sometimes it’s exciting to create stuff that’s truly original, and sometimes it’s fun to play with ideas that have been done before.

Think about the pursuit of a distinct style as an opportunity, not a mandate.

“Pay attention to when you disagree with somebody on what music can mean, and that can create your sound at the end of the day.”

Throughout his course, Kiefer opens up about his approaches to playing piano, making beats, composing, improvising, listening, and more. We invite you to try his ideas on and explore them, but feel free to pick, choose, and focus on the ones that resonate most for you.

It may have been Chick Corea who said “music is all about opinions” (the quote seems to be unverified, but it’s a good one all the same). As you incorporate other musicians’ ideas into how you play and make music, trust yourself and your opinions to help you find your way.


What are you trying to do with your music? 

Take a minute to reflect on and get in touch with what you’re hoping to do with your music. Is getting an original sound important to you? How would you describe the type of sound you’re trying to achieve? Where do you think you are in the process of developing that sound?

Explore your answers to those questions by free writing for 10 minutes. There are no wrong answers — just see what comes up for you. If you’re already a Soundfly subscriber, you can feel free to share what you come up with in either the #share-your-goals or #kiefer channels in Slack.

Don’t stop here!

Keep learning about theory and harmony, composing and arranging, songwriting, improvising, and so much more in Soundfly’s exciting new course with Grammy-winning pianist and producer, Kiefer: Keys, Chords, & Beats.

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Kiefer on Soundfly

Kiefer is a Grammy-winning pianist and producer based in Los Angeles. He released his debut album Kickinit Alone in 2017 with Leaving Records and, in 2018, signed to Stones Throw and released his second album Happysad. Since the, Kiefer has toured the world and collaborated with Kaytranada, SiR, Terrace Martin, Lalah Hathaway, Moses Sumney, Abraham Laboriel, and many more. In 2020, he won a GRAMMY for Best R&B Album for his production work on Anderson .Paak’s Ventura. Kiefer's online course, Kiefer: Keys, Chords, & Beats, is available now exclusively on Soundfly.