The shape of sound: Tang and his guitar making journey

Handcrafted guitar making requires a series of complicated processes and, more importantly, complete patience and concentration.

Directed and filmed by Tang Dafei. Edited by Tang Dafei. Translated by Chen Kaiyang. Polished by Andy Boreham.

Choosing the wood, etching the shape, polishing the surface, drilling holes, and assembling many parts together — handcrafted guitar making requires a series of complicated processes. But, perhaps more importantly, it requires complete patience and concentration.

Tang Dafei / SHINE

Tang makes handcrafted guitar in his workshop.

Tang Mu, a 31-year-old Shanghainese man, uses his passion for guitar to not only create music, but also to create unique, hand-made instruments for selected clients.

For him, making guitars has been a natural journey — he began learning carpentry as a little boy. Later he coupled that skill with his passion for music.

“Hand-made guitars are alive,” Tang insists. “You can feel a connection between the guitar and yourself.”

Zheng Qiong / SHINE

Tang's workshop on Yuyuan Road.

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