How to Make a Mark Hoppus Bass

About: Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer at a Pharma Company. Plays bass in a band.

A guide on how I created a replica of the Mark Hoppus signature bass.

Step 1: Step 1 - Component List

I purchased a second hand Fender Squier Jazz bass for £90.
I would recommend purchasing a Squier Jazz bass as they are inexpensive and the build quality is good.
Also, the Hoppus style scratch will easily fit the around the neck.

Components required:

  • Mark Hoppus Pearl White Scratch Plate
  • Sp3 Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder Pickups

Tools Required:

  • Selection of flat and cross head screw drivers
  • Drill/router
  • Chisel
  • Soldering Iron

Step 2: Step 3 - Dismantling the Guitar.

Fairly simple task of taking apart all of the components from the bass body and head stock.

Would recommend taking photos to aid reassembly and to store all components removed in a box to prevent loosing anything.

Steps For Dismantlement-

  1. Unwind strings and remove strings.
  2. Using a cross head screw driver remove screws from around scratch plate and screws securing bridge.
  3. Lightly pries the control knobs using a flat head screw driver. And remove 11 mm bolt what secures the Pots to the scratch plate.
  4. Remove machine heads from head stock. (4 small screws per machine head) once removed, pop the 4 retaining collars from head stock.
  5. To remove pickups, use cutters to split the black and white wires from the control knobs. Once cut unscrew the 2 screws at either end of each Jazz pickup.

Please note - In my project I kept the neck attached to the body.

Step 3: Step 4 - Cutting a New Cavity

My technique involved -

1. Going on EBay and purchasing and genuine Mark Hoppus scratch plate.
2. I placed the Hoppus scratch plate on the body and used a permanent marker pen to outline where I needed to cut the cavity for the P pickup.
3. Without the aid of a router, I drilled several interconnecting holes in the marked out cavity.
4. A small chisel and mallet was used to work arount the cavity, removing the excess material.
5. Fit your new P pickups in the cavity.- Use the scratch plate as a guide to see where they should be positioned- you may need to remove more material.

Please Note: For my project I was unable to get a router to cut the cavity to fit the P bass style pickup into the body of the Jazz bass ( would recommend getting one or borrowing one for this part as it will make the new cavity look alot neater) - I have had loads of negative feedback on how I over came this. I am aware the cavity looks messy, but at the end of the day, the new cavity is covered by the scratch plate so is not visible. I couldn't justify purchasing a router just for this one individual build!

Step 4: Step 5 - Filling the Bridge Pickup Hole

1. Before I started filling the hole I gave the body a light sand down using 800 grit paper and blocked the wire hole leading from the cavity to the controls cavity with some tape.
2. I removed the majority of the dust build up on the body using a damp cloth.
3. Once dry, I cut a small peice of plywood, i placed this in the cavity under a small amount of liquid glass resin.
4. I slowest started building up the layers of glass resin in the cavity. Waiting for each layer to dry before pouring more in.
5. I stopped once the cavity was full.
6. Once dried I used 800 grit paper to sand down the glass resin ( would reccomend using a 3m mask to avoid breathing the dust in)
7. To finish up the job I layed a fair amount of car filler down across the cavity and some of the body. Once dried I continued to run down using 800 grit paper. (This was done to prevent the cavity being visible once painted.)

Step 5: Step 6 - Prep and Paint

Once the body was rubbed down using 800 grit and dust and debris was removed using a damp cloth.
I carefully applied masking tape to the neck and all the other places I didn’t want to get paint on.

I began to use all purpose grey primer but eventually moved on to red primer as I didn’t want the filled up pickup cavity to shine through the final paint coat. Remember to build up lots of light primer coats leaving 20 mins between coats to allow drying.
Once dried, I gave the guitar another sanding with 800 grit paper.

Please Note: I used some heavy duty wire to hang my bass up - This made it easier to work with while painting and drying.

Step 6: Step 7 - Paint!

For this project i decided to go for a light peach colour. I have really grown to like this colour and haven’t seen many other guitars in the same shade!
I also think it really compliments the White Pearl scratch plate.

  1. Before spraying i re-did the masking tape and removed dust and debris from the body. (You may want to remove the neck, although I didn't bother)
  2. I built up the layers of paint and waited between coats for the paint to dry.
  3. Once I had a sufficient number of layers and I was happy I had covered the entire bass, I used a cellulose based clear gloss - 3 layers of gloss coat was used to protect the paint and improve the look of the finish.


Please Note: If cold out I would strongly advise to wait until a more warmer day. This is to avoid the paint ‘blooming’ - Where the paint has reaction and a white misty shadow appears on the paint surface. I also kept my spray cans indoors (to keep them a bit warmer) and shook thoroughly prior to use. Obviously avoid windy days if you’re spraying out in the open!

Step 7: Step 9 - Wiring and Reassemble!

I have attached the wiring diagram I have found online and have followed.

Using a soldering iron follow the wiring diagram.
- there’s loads of helpful videos online on how to solder well and a soldering irons are fairly cheap buy!

I would advice to connect the input and and 250k together first. ( I used the 250k volume pot and input jack from the disassembled components)

Place the pickups in the cavity and thread the white and black wire through the body into the control cavity.

To save ALOT of time - Before putting the scratch plate, other components and strings back on- You should test if the pickups are functioning correctly - You can do this by plugging the bass into an amp and playing music out of your phone directly over the pickups - If functioning you should be able to hear the music from your phone coming out of the amp.

Step 8: Step 10 - Reassemble

Once reassembled your Mark Hoppus Bass should look something like this.

Thank you for spending time and reading my build.
I am aware of things I could have done differently and have learnt from this build on things.
Overall I am happy with how it turned out.

Please feel free to message me if you are interested in making a bass with this configuration.

I play Bass in an Alternative band - Feel free to check out our music!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBh_91jnldw

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    2 Discussions

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    attosa

    4 weeks ago

    Very nice instructions. I have an old Sears guitar that's asking for a makeover. Nice to have your tips :)