Reader Spotlight: Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins

Meet Mark Hopkins, who started out on guitar in 1978. In 2012, he saw the light, switched to bass, and wondered what he’d been doing all those years. He’s collected quite a bit of gear since then!

Mark is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…


Born in 1963 in Spokane, WA, Mark Hopkins moved to Bellevue, WA with his family in 1967. He grew up in the town that spawned Heart and Queensryche. He heard and saw KISS for the first time in 1975 and he was hooked on hard rock and heavy metal. He started playing guitar in 1978. There was a great heavy metal scene in his neighborhood at that time, centered around a roller rink that became an “arena” called Lake Hills. Queensryche came out of that scene. Heart came and spoke to his Sammamish High School Performance Lab class in 1980. Mark got his degree in computer science and went to work at Microsoft in the early 90’s. This enabled him to build a recording studio which he operated commercially for several years. He played guitar in several original bands and released three albums throughout the 90’s and 00’s. These days, Mark enjoys playing bass in cover bands on weekends and watching his amazing children growing into musicians.


Snohomish, WA, USA

Day gig:

Writing technical documentation for developers at Microsoft

Years experience:

Since 2012

Bands & Gigs:

  • Patitude – a tribute to Pat Benatar
  • Cold Ethyl – a tribute to Alice Cooper
  • Lipstick Metal – a female fronted tribute to metal bands of the 80’s


  • Mike Lull V4
  • Mike Lull M4V
  • Mike Lull PJ4 (x2)
  • Mike Lull T4
  • Mike Lull V5
  • Customized Fender MIM PJ4
  • Custom Warmoth PJ4 that I assembled myself
  • Squier VM Jazz V
  • Franken-Squier P bass
  • Martin acoustic bass guitar
  • Gallien-Kreuger MB Fusion 500
  • Mesa Subway D800+
  • Darkglass Microtubes 900
  • Bergantino CN212 cabinet
  • Bergantino HS410 cabinet
  • Shure GLX-D16 wireless
  • MXR Octave Deluxe
  • MXR Envelope Filter
  • Origin Cali76 Compact Bass compressor
  • Keeley Compressor Pro
  • Darkglass Alpha-Omega Ultra
  • Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra
  • Way Huge Pork Loin overdrive
  • DSM Noisemaker Deluxe OmniCabSim

Why I play the bass:

After many years, many bands, and a few original albums as a guitarist, a long-time friend asked if I’d be interested in playing bass in his band. We’d known each other for about 20 years and had written and recorded many songs, but had never been in a band together. It sounded like a great way for us to play together so I said, “Sure!” Well, it turns out that I ADORE playing bass and should have switched years ago.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

My tone! People often come up to me after shows and say things like, “I’m a guitar player but, holy smokes, your bass tone is incredible!”

My influences:

Geddy Lee, Bryan Beller, Steve Harris, Geezer Butler, Paul McCartney, Eddie Jackson

More on the web:

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