You want to learn Clair de lune on the piano? You’ve come to the right place!
Clair de lune is the 3rd movement of the piano composition Suite bergamesque composed by Claude Debussy between 1890 and 1905. It is one of the most famous piano pieces of all time.
It is very likely that its title was inspired by the eponymous poem by Paul Verlaine.
Most of the composition is played pianissimo and with great emotional intensity. Mostly played in D-flat major, the work is nowadays appreciated by many amateur musicians of the Romantic movement, especially pianists and harpists.
In this article, the objective is to help you learn Clair de lune on the piano. We specify that this is the easy version (less notes).
We will start by teaching you the notes of the right hand, then those of the left hand. Each part will be illustrated by a tutorial video showing the notes to play in an interactive way. These videos will give you extra visual support and make you learn the song even faster.
At the end of the article, you can also download the free piano score of Clair de lune in PDF format (easy version).
Let’s get started!
Bonus: you can also learn to play this song at your own pace on our interactive piano learning application La Touche Musicale.
Bonus : you can also learn to play this song at your own pace on our interactive piano learning app La Touche Musicale.
Joris, the author of this article, recommends the following resource: Piano tutorials: learn the 10 easiest songs.
Learn to play your favorite songs on the piano
Before playing Clair de lune, we will first review the basics of piano by finding our way around a keyboard. If you already know the notes on the piano keyboard, you can skip to the next part.
Start by observing this diagram:
The name of the notes on a piano keyboard.
The picture above shows you on each key of a piano the note that is associated with it.
You can use the black keys to find your way around the keyboard. Indeed, unlike the white keys, the black keys do not follow each other in an identical way. There are two types of black key groups: groups of 2 and groups of 3.
These keys allow you to locate yourself on the piano. For example, if you are looking for the note G, you must first look at the groups of black keys and try to identify a group of 3. Once you have found it, press the white key located between the first and second black key of the group of 3: it is your G.
Practice recognizing the notes on the keyboard quickly and easily. This will help you learn to play the notes of Clair de lune on the piano more quickly during this tutorial.
Before we start playing the whole piece, we will first identify the first note to be played with the right hand using what we learned in the previous section.
The first note to be played is G:
G is the first note of the right hand in Clair de lune on piano.
Did you find the note G? Great!
Now we can play the suite in the right hand. Press successively on each of the notes below:
G – E – D – E – D – C – D – C – E – C – D – B – B – A – B – A – D – A – G – A – G – F – G – F – E – E – F – E – A – E – D – E – D – C – D – C – B – E – G – E – D – C – D – G – E – F+A+D – E – D – C – G+A#+C – D – A – G – E – D – E – D – C – A.
When you play this sequence of notes one after the other, you will get the whole Clair de lune song (easy version) on the piano, i.e. the melody.
Clair de lune on piano: the notes of the right hand.
The following tutorial video shows you all the notes to play with the right hand (those we listed in the previous section). Watch it carefully and press the indicated keys when the notes arrive on the virtual piano at the bottom of the screen.
You now know how to play the right hand of this famous music on the piano, congratulations!
Now we’ll learn to play the notes with the left hand.
Play the notes ofClair de lune with the right hand on an interactive app
La Touche Musicale app waits for you to play the right note with your right hand on your piano before moving on to the next one.
You have learned to play the notes with your right hand. Now it’s time to learn how to play the left hand.
To do this, we will proceed in exactly the same way as for the right hand, i.e. start by identifying the first note to play with your left hand.
The first note is an E:
E is the first note of the left hand in Clair de lune.
Did you manage to find the note E? Great!
Now we can move on to the next part. Play the following notes one after the other with your left hand:
E – G# – E – D – C – B – A – G#+B – G+C – F+A – E+A – D+F – G – C – C+E – F+C – F+A+C – E+C – C+E – G+C – F+C – F+A+C – G – A#+C+E – A#+C+E – A – E+A+D – C.
When you play all these notes one after the other, you have the accompaniment of Clair de lune on the piano, performed with the left hand.
Practice playing this sequence several times in a row so that you can get comfortable with it.
Clair de lune on piano: the notes of the left hand.
As for the right hand, we include a video in this tutorial showing all the notes previously mentioned to be played with the left hand. Consider this video as a visual aid to help you understand the beats and rhythm of each note.
You can now play this famous romantic piano piece with both hands, congratulations!
Now you have to be able to play with both hands at the same time.
Play the notes of Clair de lune with the left hand on an interactive app
The La Touche Musicale app waits for you to play the correct note with your left hand on your piano before moving on to the next.
When you first start playing the piano, it is always difficult to learn to play with both hands simultaneously. Indeed, knowing how to dissociate your hands requires experience and practice.
In order to improve your hand synchronization, we recommend that you work small sequence by small sequence. On each sequence, start slowly, then gradually increase the speed as you progress.
Clair de lune on the piano: the notes of both hands.
This final video tutorial shows you the notes to play with both hands at the same time. We advise you to use it to learn the beats and the rhythm, but also to improve the synchronization with your two hands.
If you have trouble following the rhythm, you can slow down the video or even pause it to give you time to put your fingers in the right place on your keyboard when new notes are to be played.
Note: on La Touche Musicale app, you don’t need to pause the song. The application waits for you until you play the right note.
Play the notes of Clair de lune with both hands on an interactive app
The La Touche Musicale app waits for you to play the right notes with both hands on your piano before moving on to the next.
Congratulations, you now know how to play one of the most popular piano pieces in the world!
Check out our other piano tutorials on famous songs:
In addition to offering you to learn this famous classical composition, we propose you to download its score to practice wherever you want.
Here is a link to download the piano sheet music of Clair de lune for free. You will be able to print it and play it from anywhere.
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