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Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Q: What guitar do you play? A: I play a 2012 arched-back cedar guitar by Jean Rompré. You can see his site and photos of my guitar here.

Q: What strings do you use? A: I use a full set of Knobloch Actives QZ Nylon strings for concerts, and I mix QZ Nylons from Knobloch with D'Addario Lightly Polished basses for recordings. I only use normal or medium tension.

Q: Where is your name from? A: I’m Armenian, but my name is Armenian, Persian, and Indian. In Armenian it means opal, but in other languages, it simply means gem or jewel.

Q: How long have you been playing? A: I’ve been playing since I was about 5 years old.

Q: How many hours do you practice? A: It varies every day, but usually falls between 2-4 hours a day, depending on what else is on my schedule. I find that after 4 hours, I’m just moving my fingers and not being productive.

Q: Did you use any specific method book when you were first learning the guitar? A: No, I did not. I learned various pieces from different sources that were meant to challenge and concentrate on various techniques.

Q: Spruce or Cedar? A: I used to play spruce pretty much all my life, but my heart always belonged to a cedar.

Q: Who made the arrangement for the La Vida Breve you play and is it available for purchase? A:  The short answer - it’s a combination of my own arrangement and one of Keigo Fujii’s, available in PDF form online if you search for it. I used that as a base, but I changed a few octaves of the accompaniment, added notes in some places, and took a couple of ornaments out. I changed the part around the descending scale and changed the fingerings in a number of places. I didn’t write any of it down, because it was easier to just memorize it than to write the changes. It’s not available for purchase, but maybe sometime in the future when I have the time to write it down.


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