FOLK MUSIC FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM

About ME

THAT'S ME IN A BLUEGRASS? BAND QUITE A WHILE AGO.

GO WITH A PRO

With individual, person to person instruction,  you will make much better progress in learning your chosen instrument at a rate that will not only satisfy you but with the quality that you deserve. There's nothing like a professional, experienced instructor that can sort out your learning issues and help you leap forward. 

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LISTEN TO MR. STICKY!

Think of Stick to Picking as your one-stop source for banjo lessons in Sacramento, fiddle lessons in Sacramento, mandolin lessons in Sacramento and maybe even bluegrass guitar lessons in the Sacramento area. Choose your instrument and find out more about how to start.

more about my history

THAT'S ME IN A BLUEGRASS? BAND QUITE A WHILE AGO.

Going way back...


  • Robert Bowden (that's me over there).  I was born and raised in Palo Alto, California.  One day while strolling the aisles of Alec’s department store with my mother, I heard a tune playing over the store’s PA system.  It was Washington Square, a popular number featuring a 4-string tenor banjo.  I was mesmerized.  As I stood in the check out line with my mother, I tapped her until she looked at me and told her I wanted to play something like that and pointed up to the speaker in the ceiling.  I was 11 years old and already bitten by the banjo bug. From that day on and for the next several months, little ol' me begged and pestered my parents for banjo lessons.  My determination won them over and they presented me with my first instrument – a 5-string banjo from Montgomery Wards.  After a couple of months, my first banjo instructor moved away. Recognizing a budding talent, he referred my mom to another Palo Alto music store and another teacher – Jerry Garcia.  Yes – THAT Jerry Garcia.  Under Garcia’s tutelage, I began to excel at banjo, practicing banjo in my room after school when most kids were out playing sports. On the advice of Garcia, my Montgomery Ward banjo was upgraded to a Vega Folk Wonder– a gift from my big brother, David.  It was the mid 60s and the folk music wave was getting into full swing and so, too, were my dreams of playing bluegrass.  Now residing in the greater Sacramento area, my love of the banjo and bluegrass music has expanded to include mastering other instruments such as the fiddle, guitar, mandolin and yes…tenor banjo.  I have spent my lifetime playing, performing, recording and teaching, adding Clawhammer and Celtic music to my repertoire. Musical heroes, Earl Scruggs, Bobby Hicks, Bill Monroe and others are  some of the people that have led the way for me and I hope I can make a difference in your musical life as well.