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Reader Spotlight: Matthew Kniffin

Matthew Kniffin

Meet Matthew Kniffin, an 18 year old bass player who already has 11 years of experience under his belt. Matthew performs as a one-man band he dubbed Soundscape and is mighty confident, in a way we have to appreciate. (It worked for a young Jaco, right?) Matthew is our player in the spotlight for October 23, 2012.


I’m 18 years old and have been playing bass for 11 years. Thus far I’m completely self-taught, but I am entering Berklee College of Music this fall as a freshman. I write solo bass material and compose instrumental duets for bass and drums for a project called l “soundscape”. I have developed a very unique sound and approach to bass that not many bassists have. I am inspired by the Earth and the need for social change. I believe music is one of the most powerful tools for seeing change in the world, and I intend to help the planet by spreading awareness. There were some people born to share their music with the world and I know I’m one of them.


Boston, MA

Day gig:

I go to school.

Years experience:

11 years

Bands & Gigs:

Soundscape is my musical project. It’s a one man band. I play bass and play a drum track through my laptop, so it’s an instrumental duo with a lot of technicality (even though the duo is me and my laptop). The genre is inspired by progressive metal and instrumental acoustic guitar players (Andy McKee, Eric Mongrain), but the combination and instrumentation gives me a unique genre-breaking sound. I’ll be gigging around Boston MA, now that I am attending Berklee College of Music.


  • Music Man Bongo 6 string (double humbux)
  • GK 400RB head
  • Sun cabinet (2 x 15)

Why I play the bass:

My dad was a bassist and my Uncle (who also went to Berklee and is a guitar professor at Boston College) really inspired to start playing music when I was 7, and I started playing drums and bass.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

No one can play the bass like I can. I’m only 18 years old and have only been playing for 11 years. I’ve come so far without taking any lessons. I am the next bassist in the evolution of bass playing, just like all instrument playing and genres alike have been evolving since they began.

My influences

Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders), Andy Mckee, Erik Mongrain, Antoine Dufour, Evan Brewer, Jaco Pastorius


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