The Bass Centre Rhythm StickThe Bass Centre Rhythm StickThe Bass Centre Rhythm StickThe Bass Centre Rhythm Stick

The Bass Centre Rhythm Stick

UK Price:  £595.00 Inc. 20% VAT
Worldwide Price: £495.83

  (2 Reviews)


After furnishing Norman Watt-Roy with his Bass Centre Blockhead masterpiece, the Bass Centre has once again teamed up with the Bombay Bomber, this time to create a brand new instrument for the British Bass Masters imprint.

The Rhythm Stick is based on the workhorse '72 P-Bass that Norman famously used on all of his celebrated recordings with Ian Dury & The Blockheads. Spotted in the window of a Fulham music shop in 1972 by Norman's flat mate, Average White Band guitarist Onnie McIntyre, Norman immediately snapped the instrument up, with his wife pitching in to help the then-impoverished bassman meet the £160 price tag.

Duly christened “Paddy” in his wife's honour and tricked out with an additional jazz pickup in the bridge position and a discrete brass plate with additional volume control in lieu of the stock pickguard, the bass became Norman's main go-to for the next 13 years as the driving force behind the Blockheads and the classic hit singles "Sweet Gene Vincent", "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll", "Wake Up & Make Love With Me", "Reasons To be Cheerful (Part 3)" and, of course, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick".

The Rhythm Stick takes Norman's redux as its inspiration, delivering a cool mash-up of traditional design and modern flair with a perfectly balanced, light-weight body, the Bass Centre's unique, satin finish "Super Slim Sixties" neck design, a striking, pickguard-free sunburst finish, chrome controls, and a choice of high mass bridge from industry leaders Babicz, Badass, or Hipshot.

Twin, vintage style, single coil PJ pickups with exposed poles produce an authentic and versatile tone — warm and fat up front, earthy and punchy at the back — with a bright, singing clarity courtesy of an all-maple neck, which boasts a smooth profile, a perfect hybrid between the typical P and J necks of the early '70,  that is a total joy to play.

An alternative remixed version of the Rhythm Stick — featuring a rosewood fingerboard and traditional roller bridge as standard — is also now available.

Today, Norman's original is, needless to say, the very definition of roadworn, bearing all manner of scars and discoloration from the hard graft, sweat and smoke of a lifetime of extensive gigging but we've deliberately avoided producing a pre-distressed replica, so whatever scrapes you get your brand new, pristine Rhythm Stick into is down to you!

Body Basswood
FINISH Gloss polyurethane vintage Solar Flare, with natural headstock
Neck Satin finish maple with Bass Centre "Super Slim Sixties"® profile
Fingerboard Maple with black dot markers
Frets 20 medium nickel frets
PickupS Passive, vintage-style single coil P/J pickups, with exposed pole pieces 
ELECTRONICS Volume / Volume / Master tone
Machineheads Chrome vintage style, clover leaf, open-gear tuners
Hardware Chromed brass dome top control knobs / 4-bolt chrome neck plate
Bridge Choice of chrome Babicz FCH, Badass Bass II or Hipshot KickAss
Scale Length 34" (864mm)
Neck Width at Nut 40mm (1.57")
Neck Width at 12th Fret 57mm (2.24")
Neck Depth at 1st Fret 20mm (0.79")
Neck Depth at 12th Fret 22mm (0.87")
String Spacing at Nut 11.5mm (0.45")
String Spacing at Bridge 19.5mm (0.47")
Weight Approx. 4.1kg (9.0lb)
Strings Bass Centre Elites
GIG BAG INCLUDED Premium quality Bass Centre padded gig gag with shoulder strap, dual carry handles and zip-up front pocket
Warranty All Bass Collection / British Bass Masters instruments come with a 1 year warranty
Country Of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., South Korea

Norman Watt-Roy In Action

Proving, once again, that the Bass Centre's collaborations are genuine artist-driven endeavours, Norman famously added the Rhythm Stick to his touring arsenal for several years of non-stop gigging with the late rhythm 'n' blues maestro, Wilko Johnson.

Jimmy Sims Takes Aim

Top UK session bassist, Jimmy Sims, the ex-Bass Centre staffer whose CV includes stints with Amy McDonald, The Saturdays, MIKA, Judie Tzuke, Pete Docherty Shane Filan, Bryan Ferry, and George Ezra, never leaves home without his Babicz loaded Rhythm Stick.


Finlay Cunningham alternates between a rosewood Rhythm Stick and the Bruce Thomas Profile Bass to supply the supple, powerful low end for up and coming UK stars The Trusted, fast gaining wide acclaim for their adventurous brand of passionately melodic and exuberant, punked-up indie rock.

Average Rating (2 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Outstanding product
30 October 2020  | 

Yes as the title suggests, an outstanding bass, super quality, well made and a superb, very playable bass. First thing I noticed, the frets, just wonderful, finish quality, just great, the build, well, just superb, cannot find a fault. The pickups, electrics all work well, was expected to replace them, but no, they do the job, only things out of the box that needed attention was the jack socket nut was loose, and the E string was not sitting in the bridge correctly, definitely becoming my go to bass. Yes for what my opinion is worth, buy one, they are spectacular!

Very Impressed
28 November 2014  | 

Well the bass arrived safely, good delivery.

Very impressed with the build quality... it put to shame an American Precision that cost £1,100. The gig bag and case candy is a very nice touch, and I like the strings on it.

The action was low and the neck feels very smooth. The bass itself is a very handsome looking instrument. The biggest plus point though, is that the P and J pickups sound as they should - itís like two basses in one, a great balance and when you blend the two, another world of sounds opens up. A Rhythm Stick it truly is.

Thank you very much.