luthiery student Minghao Zhu

If you’re trying to learn guitar repair, lessons on the internet can only get you so far. For Minghao Zhu, 32, the desire to deepen his understanding of luthiery led him all the way from his hometown of Guangzhou, China, to Nashville to attend Guitar Craft Academy.

Minghao’s love for guitars was ignited during high school when he saw a live performance and wanted to understand how the sounds were being made. He went on to teach himself basic repair techniques and even did some luthiery work in an instrument store for a couple of years.

As a new resident of Nashville, he says the city’s “Music City” nickname is deserved. “It’s really cool, man. This is one of the best cities — everybody knows how to play the guitar. And the music culture is pretty great. I love this city,” he says.

As a student in our Electric Craft class, Minghao is currently building his own four-string Fender Jazz-style bass. But he says his real love is in repair. His dream is to work in a repair shop after graduation, either in the U.S. or China.

“I love to bring damaged guitars back to life,” he says.