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Death Grip Elimination...


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53 replies to this topic

#1 archiphile

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 04:49

So boys and girls, I have a rather painful problem. I have a death grip on my pens. Does not matter what type or brand. I will say that due to some extenuating circumstances if I ease off my hand starts to shake. I would appreciate some advice. feel free to ask any questions I have not covered, I will respond with my best answer. Thank in advance to your assitance.


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#2 andybiotic

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:53

Learn the tripod hold and practice practice practice. Changing a habit is hard but is absolutely doable. What I would do is get a nice expensive pen, and since you wouldn't want to damage it, you will automatically ease off on it, both in holding and in pressing on the pen. Also, get a very wet pen (heavy ink flow) so you have to write fast and light, gliding over the paper to minimise ink dump, this is a bit hard to do with a death grip as you won't be as agile.
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#3 USMCMom

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:55

Archiphile, if you've not been writing, let's say for several hours and you pick up a pen, does your hand shake or does this happen mostly after you've been writing? If this happens mostly after you've been writing, does this happen with a pencil or a rollerball?
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#4 DanF

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:25

I guess it would depend on the cause and nature of the shake. For me, with no shake, I have gotten better through sheer conscious effort, paying close attention for periods of time to what my hand is doing, relaxing as soon as I notice the tension is building. You might just try practicing holding the pen in the tripod grip, with the section resting on the top of the middle finger, the back of the pen resting on the web between first finger and thumb, the first finger on the section at about 2:00, and the thumb about 11:00, resting on the barrel of the pen behind the section.

Let the whole hand relax, and see if you have trouble with the shaking. Then note how you would move the various parts of your hand to make the pen move in the desired direction. Spend some time getting a sense that it's possible to hold the pen in a relaxed fashion, then bring it to the paper, and start writing whatever comes to your head, or copy something. Keep it simple, and just note each time you start to tighten up, then relax the hand and begin again. A nice fat pen makes it easier for me to keep the hand loose. Make sure all three fingers don't come together at the section, and keep the pen cradled on the webbing, and you should get the hang of it before too long. Remember that you have been using the death grip for a long time, and it will take some time to break the habit and pick up the new one, so have patience.

Dan
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#5 Nonsensical

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:11

If you can write with a Safari...you don't have a death grip. Perhaps try getting something that will help force you to use a proper grip?

#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:15

I do not like the 'classic' tripod grip.
The reason I don't like that is it promoted a thumbnail 'crab pinch' and pressure.

I like either of two versions I call the forefinger up.
That takes two minutes to learn.
I was able to switch back and forth real easy. With in a week I found I was using a forefinger up method of grasping my pen 90% of the time with no thought.
Now the only pen I grasp other wise is my triangle gripped P-75.


It takes two-four minutes to practice. With one sheet of paper, where you let your writing flow very large on the first 1/3 of the page, some what large in the second third, and smaller in the last third.
If you have super tiny writing, you have to turn the page over and continue.

If you write super tiny...micro-management it may take longer.
IMO any one can learn to write larger...if they wish...some are super stubborn too.
Writing larger (On Demand) allows one to play with nibs and inks. There are free templates that allow you to scale the lines you print on your paper to wide, medium and small and even tiny.
I'd write a bit larger for a few extra pages to let your writing settle in. You can go back to super tiny micro-management writing if you wish....but that is sort of against the flow.


Second, go to advanced search and type in including quotes; "Death Grip" in this section....writing instruments.

First:
Take your pen, place the section 1/4-1/3 of an inch lower than the nail junction of your middle forefinger joint. A tad down from the dent or callus you have.

Place your forefinger on top of the section, between 12:00-13:00.

If you are not posting.....place the pad of your thumb parallel to the pen barrel so there is a gap between your forefinger and pad of your thumb. If you are placing your forefinger at 12:00 the gap will be smaller than if you place your forefinger at 13:00.

The end of your thumbnail will be under the last 1/3d of the forefinger first joint pad.

The barrel of the fountain pen will be behind the big knuckle of your forefinger about 45 degrees.
............

If you post, the end of your thumbnail will be at the crease of your first joint of your forefinger...with a gap between forefinger and thumb pad.
Depending on how heavy the pen is, it will be a tad lower than the 45 degrees of a non posted pen. It will be at 40 degrees or the start of the web of your thumb.
Should the pen be heavy it will rest in the pocket of the web of your thumb, which would be about 35 degrees.

Do not force a pen to be somewhere, let it rest somewhere in the web of your thumb as the weight of the pen dictates.
Different pens will rest in different parts of the web of your thumb.

You are not fighting your pen.


You Do No Grip the pen, you Grasp it, like you were holding a baby featherless bird.
That is all the pressure you need to write with.
You are not plowing the south forty with out a mule like with a Ball Point Pen.
The fountain pen skates on a small puddle of ink.

Read my signature.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#7 ehemem

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:14

Why does your hand shake? Muscle fatigue? Your grip on the pen? Or do you have a death grip because your hand shakes? How much pressure do you write with?

How do you hold your pen? Any writing instrument. The tripod grip is the standard because it is the most efficient and relaxed. Resting the barrel of the pen on the webbing between the thumb and forefinger is not standard, although a lot of people will tell you it is because that is how they do it. I hold my pen more vertically so that the barrel is either just on or just forward of the knuckle. There are a bunch of threads in other fora on the tripod grip and some references/links/pics to/of artwork showing people writing with quills and pens. I wish I was more competent at computer stuff, but I am not, so I cannot search and hyperlink to the relevant posts. Look in THE WRITE STUFF and PENMANSHIP fora.

I had a calligraphy teacher who used to sneak up from behind his students at random and quickly attempt to snatch the pen out of their hands. If he couldn't snatch it easily, a lecture on grip ensued. He had a trick he taught us to loosen up our holds: with pen still in hand, roll the hand over until the heel of your hand is flat on the table and press down on the heel of the hand for a few seconds until you feel your thumb and forefinger relax, then rotate you hand back to writing position without tightening up.

Well, looks like you will get a variety of responses and advice. See what works for you.

#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:45

Calligraphy should be before the first knuckle but not writing....though today's modern pens have that stiffer blobbier nib because folks hold their pens before the first knuckle; like a ball point.
Calligraphy is a drawn letter, with a nib held at 45 degrees on the paper to get the full character.

Vintage nibs were ground different than todays, as far as I've read they were ground for folks that held their pens further back than today's ball point users.
In that I hold my pens behind the first knuckle and was so taught back in the day of the silver dime.....I just wish the teacher had taught forefinger up instead of trying to teach tripod.
Tripod is adequate....only IMO.
It promotes using pressure.
Forefinger up promotes grasping lightly.

Today's nibs are ground in an attempt of one size fits all; hold the pen where you want....and I am very lucky I don't own many Modern pens....

The good thing about many modern nibs is there is enough material there that you nib meister has enough to work with.

You can not IMO use a semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex/'flexi' or easy full flex nib with the pen held before the first knuckle.
Great for calligraphy and good enough for modern 'stiff-regular' flex nibs then.
AH HA....that could explain why many people don't like 'flexi' nibs...

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#9 Sidestreaker

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:32

Painting helps me relax my grip. The use of a brush will help to train the hand using the right pressure for the right desired effect.

Another trick is the use of a basic pencil. It's what I learned in drafting school. You rotate a sharpened pencil with the guide of a ruler or freehand to draw consistent lines while making sure that the pencil lead erodes consistently on all angles. the more consistent the lines drawn, the better control you have, and soon, it becomes sub-conscious.
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#10 Ghost Plane

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:13

It might also be a function of the size of writing implements you are using.

My father taught me by snatching pens from my hand as well :rolleyes: But too narrow of a pen results in too tight of a grip. You may find a larger, fatter pen helps your hand relax.

Try sketching your letters as well, rather than using your fingers to write. With a sheet of paper, make large, slanting 0 shapes using your entire hand, not just the fingers.

The pen should be draped loosely across the webbing between thumb and forefinger and allowed to find its natural nib down position. Then gently close your fingers around it without gripping. That is all the pressure you need for a good fountain pen. Too narrow or dry of a nib defeats this loose "grip" and makes you apply pressure.

#11 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 13:23



First:
Take your pen, place the section 1/4-1/3 of an inch lower than the nail junction of your middle forefinger joint. A tad down from the dent or callus you have.

Place your forefinger on top of the section, between 12:00-13:00.

If you are not posting.....place the pad of your thumb parallel to the pen barrel so there is a gap between your forefinger and pad of your thumb. If you are placing your forefinger at 12:00 the gap will be smaller than if you place your forefinger at 13:00.

The end of your thumbnail will be under the last 1/3d of the forefinger first joint pad.

The barrel of the fountain pen will be behind the big knuckle of your forefinger about 45 degrees.
............

If you post, the end of your thumbnail will be at the crease of your first joint of your forefinger...with a gap between forefinger and thumb pad.
Depending on how heavy the pen is, it will be a tad lower than the 45 degrees of a non posted pen. It will be at 40 degrees or the start of the web of your thumb.
Should the pen be heavy it will rest in the pocket of the web of your thumb, which would be about 35 degrees.

Do not force a pen to be somewhere, let it rest somewhere in the web of your thumb as the weight of the pen dictates.
Different pens will rest in different parts of the web of your thumb.

You are not fighting your pen.



Read my signature.


Pictures. Need pictures.

#12 Mickey

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 14:17

Probably the easiest way to lose the Death Grip doesn't involve writing at all, but simply holding the pen in a relaxed manner while not writing. Grip the pen lightly while reading or watching television, let the rest of your arm relax. When holding the pen lightly becomes second nature, when you stop noticing you're holding it, only then start trying to use it. Start by drawing simple figures, lines, circles, and spirals, starting large and gradually decreasing their size until they approach the scale of writing. When you can draw these figures easily, then try writing.

Remember you are trying to decouple a bad habit from a necessary skill. It may take time. Hint: pay attention to how you start moving the pen. If your grip pressure increases as soon as you begin moving the pen (or before!), stop immediately. Begin again (and again...) until you can start moving the pen without immediately (or preemptively) tightening up. (This will probably seem odd, but watching your hand while you try may help a lot.)

I recommend a tripod grip. how arched your index finger is in this grip relates to hand size and confirmation and to pen barrel diameter and length. Don't slavishly try to make your hand look exactly like some picture you've seen. How rotated your wrist and hand are when your grip the pen will also change the appearance of your grip.

Remember, when you change your grip, you may also change the orientation of your writing line, so be prepared to change your paper position. In fact, you may discover that simply changing the rotation of the page on the desk may help you reduce your grip pressure.

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#13 WendyNC

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 14:36

My hand-shakiness is intermittent and I've still not figured out entirely how to deal with the wobbly days. The best I've found so far involves using heavy pens with wide sections/bodies and the old Palmer "arm writing" method. The other thing that seems to help is wider and wetter nibs. These encourage me to write larger, which I find more easily done when doing arm writing.

If you come up with a solution, I'd love to read about it. My godson has what the neurologists have called simply "hereditary tremors" and, so far, he doesn't have a solution, although I haven't had a chance to try him with fountain pens (and I won't now since he moved to Tennessee yesterday for grad school). The best we've found for him are Sensa pens with the squishy, rubberized grip.
I came here for the pictures and stayed for the conversation.

#14 archiphile

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 16:27

@Dan; The nature of the shake is a medical issue and cannot be helped. I do agree that in many instances this alone works well. I also think that employing this w/ other methods works well.

@Sidestreaker; While rolling the pen/pencil works well for me while drafting a line. I find that when it comes to then lettering phase of the drawing, I have the same problem.

@Bo Bo Olsen; Thank you for the very helpful and insightful explanation.


So I will tell all of you this what my riding instructor has said to me and others in the past. Thumbs up, relax your elbows (usually just shortened to ELBOWS1). Head up and eyes forward.

You might not think that any of this applies to anything but riding horses. I have found that many of the things said in a lesson go for many things in general. Thank you all for your comments.

#15 nxn96

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 16:50

Here's what's worked for me:

Essentially, you create a "cradle" whereby the upper part of the pen "rests" in your hand in the curve between your thumb and index finger. Your thumb and middle finger provide just the slightest tension against the barrel at roughly the 2-o'clock and 10-o'clock position, with the index finger just above the middle finger but provides no tension against the pen. The number four finger and the pinky "round out" the cradle. The #4 touches the base of the pen (at the 6-o'clock position), but never provides tension; the pen simply rests on it. As for the pinky, it's job is to sit there and stay out of the way.

Unless you're writing with a chisel, a writing instrument (and I use the same basic "hold" for pencils and bp's) doesn't need much leverage to work; it only needs enough to keep the pen from slipping out of your hand. Any more than that probably means you're putting too much pressure on the pen. Focus on the softest grip possible to keep the pen from slipping out of your hand, and how the pen best fits your hand such that you need the least amount of pressure to keep it there.

Hope this helps

#16 KrazyIvan

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 17:07

I trained myself with a Lamy Safari. First, it forces you into the tripod hold, which I did not do before. After that it was conciously telling myself to stop gripping as hard. It took several months before I finally broke the trend. Now it is second nature to grip the pen in a relaxed manner and to hold it in a tripod grip. I don't need the Safari to force me into the tripod grip. I don't remember exactly how long it took but I am guessing about 4-6 months. I started in January (a New Year's resolution) and have been happily writing since.

#17 Mickey

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 17:17

@Dan; The nature of the shake is a medical issue and cannot be helped. I do agree that in many instances this alone works well. I also think that employing this w/ other methods works well.


If writing with more physical effort or activity helps damp the tremors, there may be a solution in (I believe) some of the Spencerian instruction manuals. One manual directs that the pad of muscle just forward of the elbow rest on the desk. In effect, the muscle pad becomes a heavily damped 2D bearing, with the upper arm and shoulder providing the bulk of the energy for writing and the smaller muscles of the hand and forearm providing the fine control. This is a blended solution, closer to what is meant by "arm writing" than some explanations I've read. Another manual give similar advice, except it recommends wearing a lined jacket (with a short sleeved shirt) effecting a sleeve bearing of sorts. I suspect, in your situation, the first suggestion is more likely to help.

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#18 Alieanor

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 17:37

It might also be a function of the size of writing implements you are using.

My father taught me by snatching pens from my hand as well :rolleyes: But too narrow of a pen results in too tight of a grip. You may find a larger, fatter pen helps your hand relax.

Try sketching your letters as well, rather than using your fingers to write. With a sheet of paper, make large, slanting 0 shapes using your entire hand, not just the fingers.

The pen should be draped loosely across the webbing between thumb and forefinger and allowed to find its natural nib down position. Then gently close your fingers around it without gripping. That is all the pressure you need for a good fountain pen. Too narrow or dry of a nib defeats this loose "grip" and makes you apply pressure.



+1. Once I discovered heavier pens with fatter sections, I found my need for a death grip went away. Now I'm able to use my lighter pens with the grip I developed using bigger pens.

Experimentation is a good thing here. You may want to play around with several of the methods listed here to see what makes the most difference for you. I can't write at all using the tripod grip, but I was able to adapt my regular grip to exigences of FP writing.

Good luck!

#19 DanF

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 22:28

Here is a photo of the grip I was trying to describe. I don't know if this is actually the tripod grip or not, but it is a very relaxed grip, I think that one may have the thumb on the section too, and is a minor deviation of this one. Either one leaves the hand in a very natural, restful state. Don't know how your tremor will figure into the equation, but there has already been much advice for you to experiment with. Hope some of it proves helpful. Good luck.

DSC_0320_2.jpg

Dan
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#20 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 22:50

I'll have to take some pictures....not tonight it's late.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#21 taranir

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 18:04

I have a very similar problem with my hand shaking. It isn't so much of an issue with writing, but the tremor becomes even more noticeable when I draw with a tablet pen, which is much more sensitive than pen-and-paper and picks up every tiny movement. The only solution I found to correct this, unfortunately, was to develop a death grip for linearting-- which then transferred over to my handwriting as well.
I do have a tripod grip, and I can write normally with a Safari. But I grip the pen with my fingers so hard that my joints ache after one or two hours. If there is a solution to this trembling, I'd love to read about it.

#22 Shaughn

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 20:34

Here is a photo of the grip I was trying to describe. I don't know if this is actually the tripod grip or not, but it is a very relaxed grip, I think that one may have the thumb on the section too, and is a minor deviation of this one. Either one leaves the hand in a very natural, restful state. Don't know how your tremor will figure into the equation, but there has already been much advice for you to experiment with. Hope some of it proves helpful. Good luck.

DSC_0320_2.jpg

Dan


This is the tripod grip indeed, as it should be. A death grip is a tripod gone wrong.

Just to add some more information:
http://www.janice-ca...-pen-or-pencil/
http://www.drawyourw...the-pencil.html
http://www.ringpen.com/ABCD/

and ofcourse
http://www.fountainp...the-death-grip/

#23 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:35

I find this important in I have moved the pen down from the middle knuckle nail junction 1/4-1/3 of an inch or about 1cm. It is out of the dent or callus and rests there, where it is harder to add pressure that many are use to.
Posted Image


Having looked at the pictures it's not quite what I wanted to show but close and the difference is not much. Shows I'm more flexible in my ways of grasping a pen than I thought.

I am placing my forefinger at @ 12:30. You can place it at 12:00, 12:30 or 13:00 as you wish.


The main thing is having the forefinger up, and the thumb pad flat, with only enough pressure to hold a featherless baby bird.

If you post you move your thumb pad up the barrel a tad to @ the crease of the first joint of the forefinger. Re Read what I wrote.

This is a non-posted pen, a medium large thick MB Virginia Woolf, a nice springy modern B or vintage BB. It rests just after the first finger fore knuckle.
The thumb pad is a bit lower on the pen.
This if I had thought a bit would show you the 45 degree angle. I was more interested in showing the forefinger up and thumb position rather than the angle. :embarrassed_smile:
Posted Image

Posted Image

The next are posted pens. The basic trick is to move your thumb up the barrel of the pen a tad when posting.

If you are posting a heavy metal pen like a Lamy Persona or a Cross Townsend your whole 'grip' will move up the pen until you find a balance point.(With a tad of practice your writing will be normal.)
A light metal pen like a silver P-75 does not require moving up the pen.

This is a nice perfectly balanced (for me) thin(P-75 width but longer) rolled gold trim Geha 725 a grand semi-flex M. It actually sits a tad ( a pen width) lower than a non posted pen...at about the start of the web of my thumb or 40 degrees.

Posted Image


This is a back weighted MB 234 1/2 Deluxe (52-55 only) Grand...Semi-flex KOB. I did not think to grab a heavier metal pen. :headsmack: It is a 'heavier' plastic pen because of the brass piston guts, and back weighting.
It normally rests in the depth of the web of my thumb...or 35 degrees.
Posted Image

Posted Image

I hope now what I wrote makes sense.
repeat of the other post.
I do not like the 'classic' tripod grip.
The reason I don't like that is it promoted a thumbnail 'crab pinch' and pressure.

I like either of two versions I call the forefinger up.
That takes two minutes to learn.
I was able to switch back and forth real easy. With in a week I found I was using a forefinger up method of grasping my pen 90% of the time with no thought.
Now the only pen I grasp other wise is my triangle gripped P-75.


It takes two-four minutes to practice. With one sheet of paper, where you let your writing flow very large on the first 1/3 of the page, some what large in the second third, and smaller in the last third.
If you have super tiny writing, you have to turn the page over and continue.

If you write super tiny...micro-management it may take longer.
IMO any one can learn to write larger...if they wish...some are super stubborn too.
Writing larger (On Demand) allows one to play with nibs and inks. There are free templates that allow you to scale the lines you print on your paper to wide, medium and small and even tiny.
I'd write a bit larger for a few extra pages to let your writing settle in. You can go back to super tiny micro-management writing if you wish....but that is sort of against the flow.


Second, go to advanced search and type in including quotes; "Death Grip" in this section....writing instruments.

First:
Take your pen, place the section 1/4-1/3 of an inch lower than the nail junction of your middle forefinger joint. A tad down from the dent or callus you have.

Place your forefinger on top of the section, between 12:00-13:00.

If you are not posting.....place the pad of your thumb parallel to the pen barrel so there is a gap between your forefinger and pad of your thumb. If you are placing your forefinger at 12:00 the gap will be smaller than if you place your forefinger at 13:00.

The end of your thumbnail will be under the last 1/3d of the forefinger first joint pad.

The barrel of the fountain pen will be behind the big knuckle of your forefinger about 45 degrees.
............

If you post, the end of your thumbnail will be at the crease of your first joint of your forefinger...with a gap between forefinger and thumb pad.
Depending on how heavy the pen is, it will be a tad lower than the 45 degrees of a non posted pen. It will be at 40 degrees or the start of the web of your thumb.
Should the pen be heavy it will rest in the pocket of the web of your thumb, which would be about 35 degrees.

Do not force a pen to be somewhere, let it rest somewhere in the web of your thumb as the weight of the pen dictates.
Different pens will rest in different parts of the web of your thumb.

You are not fighting your pen.


You Do No Grip the pen, you Grasp it, like you were holding a baby featherless bird.
That is all the pressure you need to write with.
You are not plowing the south forty with out a mule like with a Ball Point Pen.
The fountain pen skates on a small puddle of ink.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 28 July 2011 - 10:59.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#24 mstone

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:11

Don't worry if you can't find a difference between bo-bo's long-discussed grip and an actual tripod grip, you're not alone. It's the same grip that's been drilled into scribes for hundreds of years, just don't tense up or apply too much pressure--it should be possible to pull the pen out of your hand while writing with it. The angle of the pen is a bit of personal preference: for longhand I tend to keep it low toward the thumb, for italic/calligraphy much higher and more toward the vertical. (The latter is more in line with older tradition, and maximizes line variation, but I find it less suited for high speed cursive writing. It's probably a bit more prone to falling into bad-habit ballpoint tight gripping.)

#25 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:52

I've noticed many shades of rose colored glasses, that allow one to see what one wants, and not what one could see with un-tinted glasses. :glare:

The basic difference is a flat thumb pad and not a nail on the barrel...pinching it. Look at the 'basic' tripod and you are pinching with one finger and one thumb nail. :gaah:
I explained before the tripod is a pinch way of gripping a pen. :bonk:

I have also said I don't like the word grip because it has pressure associated with it. Grasping is a less forceful word, except for money.

I said there is as I see it two versions of the tripod; the two finger pinch :yikes: , and the forefinger up.

Tripod is real good for pencils, and ball points that have to be dragged by force across a sheet of paper. If you look at the drawings showing the tripod, you see the Tripod Pinch. :angry:

There is two slight variations of the forefinger up, depending where you place your thumb pad; depending on if you post or not.

This eliminates plowing the south forty with out the mule like a tripod nail pinch grip.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#26 mstone

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 17:34

I've noticed many shades of rose colored glasses, that allow one to see what one wants, and not what one could see with un-tinted glasses. :glare:

The basic difference is a flat thumb pad and not a nail on the barrel...pinching it. Look at the 'basic' tripod and you are pinching with one finger and one thumb nail. :gaah:


Except that's not the tripod--you were doing it wrong and invented a whole new word for the classic tripod grasp, which serves only to increase confusion. If you check the links posted by others above you'll see that they all warn against squeezing the pen tightly or holding it at too high an angle or with a clenched first. I can't fathom how you'd put a thumbnail on the pen with a proper tripod grip unless you've got nails that belong in Guinness' book.

Tripod is real good for pencils, and ball points that have to be dragged by force across a sheet of paper.


You're ignoring the fact that people were holding their pens with a classic tripod back when the pen was what you shoved into your pen-holder.

#27 Mickey

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 18:31

Bobo, old buddy, you seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel.

What you demonstrate in your photos is the tripod grip, i.e., the pen is stabilized (loosely) by three points (one each from the thumb and first 2 fingers) with the barrel resting somewhere in the web between index finger and thumb. Where exactly the three contact point are on the digits and where the barrel contacts the web is determined by the size of the hand, the relative length of the digits, the diameter of the gripped area of the pen barrel, and the rotation of the hand relative to the page. The distance between the grip points and the nib end will also create variation. In other words, two tripod grips may appear quite different while being operationally identical.

Trying to exactly mimic another person's grip (or even clone one's own on a different sized pen) can result in tension and fatigue. The concept is important, not any particular realization.

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#28 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 18:39

Mstone.
If you had cared to look, you can find old drawings of masters of penmanship having a fore finger up.
Some nice poster posted a link to that showing they had used a fore finger up method of grasping a pen holder also, back when a pen was the nib.

What is there to confuse? If some one tries the method I learned here and pass on, that I call fore finger up...in that is what it is, a fore finger on top of the pen, and not at 02:00 pinching lightly or otherwise, it works. If it works there is no confusion.
What is confusing is calling something gripping at 2 and 10 (classic triangle) the forefinger up method of grasping a fountain pen.
They are similar like a VW and a Porsche.

You can hold it like a tripod with your fingers at 10 and 2 with your finger joints bent in and pinch....lightly.
Or you can put your forefinger on top; basically sort of flat , 12-12:30-13:00 with the pad of the thumb flat at @ 09:30 and grasp the fountain pen lightly with out having to crab pinch the pen like a classic tripod.

One wishes only to prove a point in assumed semantics; where I wish to show a better and easy way to grasp a fountain pen.


I as I have stated lots of times, I find the classic tripod, for me not the best way to grasp a fountain pen; it promotes pinching.
I used the 'classic' tripod; dent and callus on the middle finger joint and all, ever since the day of the nickel Snickers and dime comic book.

Then two years ago I got ever so lucky and learned one forefinger up method, and adapted that to posting pens also.

Read my signature.

Mickey. a triangle is a triangle, but there are a few different kinds. When I moved my left thumb a 1/4 of an inch to the right, I stopped slicing a golf ball. So is it with fountain pens.
Fore finger to the side or on top...makes a big difference.

I find it wrong to say triangle grip when that means 10-2 not 9:30-12:30. A huge difference of flat finger/thumb pads vs pinched in end finger knuckles is a huge difference too.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 28 July 2011 - 18:55.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#29 Mickey

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 19:06

Mstone.
If you had cared to look, you can find old drawings of masters of penmanship having a fore finger up.
Some nice poster posted a link to that showing they had used a fore finger up method of grasping a pen holder also, back when a pen was the nib.


I have looked, possibly more extensively than you have, starting back 3 decades ago. I stand by my original statement. Fore-finger up hardly qualifies as a variation. I would also point out that the human hand is possibly the most difficult object to draw accurately. It is quite possible that drawings in old manuals are far from anatomically correct or usefully illustrative. (The hands I've seen in some old books would not look out of place in an F. W. Murnau film.)

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#30 Mickey

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 19:10

I can't fathom how you'd put a thumbnail on the pen with a proper tripod grip unless you've got nails that belong in Guinness' book.


In fairness to BoBo, it's not that difficult to put the corner of the thumbnail on the section. I just don't find that variation comfortable or more useful than the more conventional placement. It still fundamentally tripod.

Edited by Mickey, 28 July 2011 - 19:13.

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries