Arts & Entertainment, Music

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.

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

Topics include: Don't Pressure Yourself • The Dance Floor Doesn't Lie • Sending Out Your Demo • Social Media is a Must • Draw Your Own Social Media Boundaries • Protect Yourself From Negativity • Never Stop Having Fun


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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Armin van Buuren

Learn how to make dance music from the platinum-selling producer voted No. 1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine.

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