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Arts & Entertainment

Starting and Growing Your Career

Armin van Buuren

Lesson time 11:19 min

Armin has had one of dance music’s longest running, most successful careers. Pick up some inside tips to help you get your music heard and make a name for yourself as a DJ.

Armin van Buuren
Teaches Dance Music
Learn how to make dance music from the platinum-selling producer voted No. 1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine.


Every DJ that I know or every top 100 DJ in the world has become famous in a different way. For some DJs it was their radio show. For other DJs, it was their big track. For other DJs, it was the big collaboration with another artist-- that's also something to notice-- or a couple of great releases on a well-known label. So there's always a different story with every other DJ. So there's not a path you have to walk. You have to find your own path. It's out there. But you just have to look for it. I'm 40 years old now. I've been making music for-- well, since I was 15, I think. In the beginning, there weren't that many people interested in my music. Like I said, I released that one track in 1992 on that small label in The Hague. It took me eight years to have my first big track and that was a hit in the UK. So that was a long journey. Of course, my parents were a little scared of, you know-- what's he doing with this dance music thing? And I had a good thing to fall back on. Like, I had that education. So that's why I never felt the pressure of having to perform or having to make a next track to pay rent, you know? Then you can get pressured, and that music is no longer fun anymore, because you have to make music to make a living. So I was always, always very aware of that. So let's finish my degree. Let's have something to fall back on so I can still be having fun in the studio. So I was trying to be a little bit experimental because of that. Because I wasn't-- I didn't have to make tracks to be number one or anything. I was just having fun in the studio, you know, making really, really weird tracks. I made, like, a track of that lasted for two hours. And there was constantly elements adding. I mean, it's a silly thing, but I was just trying different stuff, you know? I was trying to think out of the box. And I guess that that helped me. I remember having this little, small job just to make some money at this firm that basically was a supplier for the local record stores. And there was a guy working there who knew a guy who knew a guy. And he was working at the label. So I made sure that I gave him a tape, cassette tape. And I gave him 10, you know-- which was a little bit of money for me back then, buying 10 tapes and putting all those tracks on those tapes. And one of those tapes ended up on the right desk. So there was a lot of frustration there, making a lot of tapes that were just-- probably ended up with the garbage somewhere, you know. And I feel bad, because now I get a lot of USBs and demos from other people. And I do give them to my A&R managers at the Armada office, which is my label. And yeah, most of them are just not good enough, you know? It's just because there's so much music out there. If we want to sign a track or release a track, it has to be something special. It really has to stand out. There's tons of stories of DJs that, all of the sudden, are playing the main stages just because ...

About the Instructor

Every week, Armin van Buuren puts 41 million listeners into A State of Trance on his radio show. In his first-ever online class, the platinum-selling DJ breaks down his hits and builds a track from scratch to show you how he produces, performs, and promotes dance music. You’ll learn his technical process for using samples and plug-ins, mixing, recording vocals, and how to DJ a set. Your crowd is waiting.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Love the attitude and clear explanations. Inspired to continue creating music! Thanks!

ok.. I' ll get 3 mastered demo tracks for armada by august...

I already had a lot of music production training and experience, but it was great to see how Armin does it. Even more so, it really helped me to see how he plans his sets and performances, and just to listen to his positive demeanor and down to earth attitude that puts himself on the same plane as his audience, so that everyone rocks together.

It was a great episode on my life, I just learned a lot of good tips for music production and Djing from one of the best in the world!


Ramon .

Hi Armin, I really love your Marterclass, honestly it is very good. I got I question. What do you recommend me to do to post my first traks t in video tube channels as youtube or Instagram? because I got only the audio not the video. What could be the easiest way? Thank you very much. Ramon. :-)


Very Good Video! I was wondering if putting a track out everywhere including Spotify, Deezer, etc. and putting the track on lets say Spinnin' Talent Pool is okay, cause by this video I don't think it is.


OUTSTANDING MASTERCLASS!! Standing ovation 4 u Armin bitch!! Great content, very inspiring!!


So when we send demos in do we send in the Original if it started as a pop track, or remixed to club mix and edit. I know that usually A&R's only listen to the first 5-15 seconds of demos, or at least they used to.

Kenneth S.

I love this segment, especially Armin's honesty about not having inspiration, but also about not getting consumed by social media feedback and the negative-side of feedback and putting it into perspective. Really good direction here!

Sebastian R.

Always have fun, if it's not fun to make then nobody will have fun listening to it. Go take a walk, play Nintendo or whatever. Come back when it's fun again. Party on!

Adam S.

One great way to get started is by making your own monthly show/podcast! It's so easy to get started, and if you love the music as much as probably most of us do, then you'll look forward to improving each episode and getting to really interact with your music. I've been doing this myself for over four and a half years now, and each month I think about what new things I can do and how I can incorporate some of what the pros, such as Armin, do. Have a listen if you'd like to my show, leave a comment saying that you're a fellow classmate or whatever else you'd like to say, and subscribe/follow to hear my latest each month! (iTunes and RSS feed version for non-iTunes podcast listening, such as on Castbox)

Gaetan G.

It's not because I don't have the latest gear or DJ producing equipment that I'm not a good person or a strong person. It's not because I don't drive in expensive cars that I'm not a strong person. I'm sorry that you feel the need to collect expensive brands to make you feel superior. That's not cool. Cool people treat everyone with the same respect. I get that you're happy about selling albums and making money but these tools are out of my reach because I am not. I don't think that art should be aimed towards the people who think to much of themselves.

Scrodello Scrodello has a new tune! I hope you enjoy and thanks for watching and listening!

Ayon S.

A great and humble person, so many positive thoughts and lessons you shared Armin Sir. Thank you