Kāne's style was distinctive and deceptively simple. He played in a number of ki ho'alu tunings always plucking or brushing the strings with only the thumb and index finger of his right hand. He also played hammer-ons and pull-offs in a unique way; his finger moving up and out, instead of down and in, after striking a string. He emphasized that one must play and sing "from the heart." He was never flashy or fast. In Hawaiian, his sound is described as nahenahe (sweet sounding).