How to Approach Debussy’s Clair De Lune on The Piano
This is a gem of a piece that many students choose to learn. If you have the opportunity to view the attached video, there are many insights and tips that you may find helpful.
The biggest problem I see students encounter when it comes to this piece is playing the rhythm correctly. Specifically, when a piece is slow like this one, it’s hard to tell how long to hold longer notes – most of the time the long notes end up getting robbed of time which takes away from the peaceful aesthetic of the piece.
When it comes to slower pieces like this one, holding the notes long enough is essential in achieving the right mood, but how do you practice something like this? Well, if you look at my piano you will always see a metronome. More than that, practicing with a metronome without the use of the sustain pedal keeps you honest in your playing both rhythmically and melodically. This is an essential practice routine for any serious musician.
Keep in mind that the pedal is not meant to connect notes you can connect with the hands. Instead, the pedal can be an incredibly expressive device once you know what you can and cannot connect with the fingers.