Kiefer: Keys, Chords, & Beats

Learn how to marry theory, improvisation, and beat making to become a better pianist and producer, with Grammy-winner Kiefer.

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Kiefer has been called the best kept secret in jazz and alt-rap. Both a skilled pianist and a dynamic producer, Kiefer draws on the rich traditions of Black American music for a sound that's not quite jazz, not quite hip-hop — something entirely his own. Picture Dilla-inspired beats with rich, complex harmonies and flashy solos on top.

In this course, Kiefer showcases his approach to the piano and keys, making modern piano-based music by tackling five creative challenges and breaking down how he navigates each one. We'll be exploring how to write sophisticated and soulful chord changes, how to harmonize with a melody, how to come up with exciting solos, how to fashion short loops into interesting beats, and so much more.

If you're a pianist, or a producer with some background in piano, dive in to take your skills to the next level. 


Pianist and producer

Kiefer is a Grammy-winning pianist and producer. He was born and raised in San Diego, immersed in jazz by his father. He studied at UCLA’s Jazz Studies Program under renowned jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell and got his beats education at the LA club Low End Theory. Kiefer released his debut album Kickinit Alone in 2017 with Leaving Records and, in 2018, signed to Stones Throw and released his second album Happysad. Three EPs — Bridges, Superbloom, and Between Days — expanded his compositional approach to his songwriting. Kiefer has toured the world and collaborated with Kaytranada, SiR, Terrace Martin, Lalah Hathaway, Moses Sumney, Abraham Laboriel, and more. In 2020, he won a GRAMMY for Best R&B Album for his production work on Anderson .Paak’s Ventura.

Kiefer is also a teacher of music. He regularly shares his musical insights via Twitch and collaborates with the followers on his channel, as well as designing teaching courses for Soundfly and Adidas, among others.

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Watch the Trailer Video

Kiefer is known for his fresh, soulful harmonies, exciting solos, and lilting hip-hop beats. Check out what's on deck in this trailer for the course. 

Make Better Piano-Based Music

Learn from Kiefer's approach to playing the piano and writing songs on keys to improve your own skills on the keyboard.

Expand Your Harmonic Palette

Learn how to create more interesting chord progressions and voicings.

Write & Harmonize Melodies

Explore techniques for writing melodies and coming up with chord changes to match them.

Grow Your Improvisation Skills

Improve your soloing and craft more intentional improvisations.

Make Better Beats on Keys

Create infectious piano and keys parts for electronic and beat-based music.


Course Outline

  1. Preview
    Section 1


  2. Preview
    Section 2

    Getting Started

  3. Section 3

    Writing Chord Changes

  4. Section 4

    Melody & Chords

  5. Section 5


  6. Section 6

    Making a Beat

  7. Section 7



Who is this course for?

This course is for intermediate and advanced pianists or pianist-producers. You should already have some level of comfort playing with two hands on the piano and some familiarity with music theory, including scales and chords. 

What will I learn in this course?

You'll learn how Kiefer approaches playing piano, including how he comes up with chord changes, how he writes and harmonizes melodies, how he improvises and improves his improvisation skills, and how he comes up with keyboard parts for beats.  

Are there any pre-reqs?

You should have some prior knowlege of major and minor scales and how to construct chords built on scales. You should also be able to comfortably play chords and melodies on the piano. If you're new to this stuff, check out our short Music Theory for Beginner Pianists course as primer. 

You will definitely need a piano, keyboard, or a keyboard-based MIDI instrument to get the most out of this course. 

How long does this course take?

This course was designed for you to go through at your own pace. If you wanted to do all the content linearly from start to finish, there are five big milestones in the course and a final challenge that could be done over the course of one to two months.

You're also welcome to just skip around to the lessons and sections most relevant to you and your music.  

Is there a specific start date?

You can start the course anytime. If you'd like more accountability, and guided feedback from a professional, you can request to work through the course and your own goals with a Soundfly Mentor for four or six weeks, and get a more personalized experience for a specific period of time.  

Learn more about custom mentorship here.

How many lessons are there?

This course includes 60 lessons, including videos, graphics, text, activities, demos, creative prompts, downloadable tracks, stems, and much more. 

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all courses on, including this and all our other premium courses, to go through at your own pace. This includes all the videos, tutorials, demos, quizzes, activities, downloads, and other materials within our full suite of courses.

You're also entitled to a 25% discount on our custom mentorship program, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Discord group, you'll be able join subscriber-only Study Groups, artist Q&As and workshops, annual contests and giveaways, and you'll have access to a growing list of exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. Cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

What is your refund policy?

Our mission is to support musicians, not to rip anyone off. If you realize after subscribing that it's not what you wanted, email us as soon as you can with your reason for cancelling. Our policy is to issue refunds within two weeks of a purchase, for either a monthly or annual subscription, if the courses didn't meet your expectations.

Note that we cannot offer refunds on monthly subscription payments beyond a single month of payment because of the residuals we pay out to our instructors and artists.

Can I take this course with a mentor?

Yes, absolutely. If you would like to go through the course with support, accountability, feedback, and guidance from an expert, you can request a mentor by filling out this form. A Soundfly staffperson will reach out within 48 hours to learn more about your goals, your music, and your skills level, and pair you with a mentor who can help you achieve your next musical milestone. Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. Your mentor will tailor the course to your experience and interests, offer detailed weekly feedback on your work, answer any questions you have, help you blow past obstacles, and keep you on track to accomplish your goals.

You can find out more about mentorship and our expert mentors here.