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The Classic Tripod Grip


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#1 troglokev

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 20:49

The four step program

Step 1: Balance the pen between your webbing and your middle finger.

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Step 2: Rest your forefinger against the pen. The pen is now stable under its own weight, with three points of contact. Test it: tip your hand away from yourself, the pen should not fall out.

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Step 3: Close thumb gently over the pen, in the natural manner. The pen will move up your knuckle a little as your hand changes shape. Let it sit where it wants to.

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Step 4: Write.

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Once you're used to holding the pen, you don't need the first couple of steps. You just pick it up. However, they are a useful exercise when you find yourself squeezing the pen too hard.

Edited by troglokev, 02 August 2011 - 21:22.


#2 777

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 21:08

Excellent tutorial! Thank you! Finally someone took the time to come out with this in picture form... Posted Image

Luckily I have been blessed with a natural perfect grip on my pens... Posted Image

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#3 troglokev

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 21:41

A variation on the above is to move the forefinger on top of the pen. This is useful to control flex, for pens that have it, and scripts that use it. I prefer the classic grip for general writing.

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Edited by troglokev, 02 August 2011 - 21:43.


#4 Desertsnowman

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 21:45

Neet- Could you demonstrate the much mentioned "Death Grip" ?

a never mind I just saw a previous post.

Edited by Desertsnowman, 02 August 2011 - 21:51.


#5 Redbarchettayyz

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:28

Thank you so much for this! My first fountain pen came in today, and this little tutorial has been very helpful!
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#6 andybiotic

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:04

hmm... Interesting, my thumb is a bit lower in the grip, it is near or at the same level as the index finger (at the section), I find that it is easier to control the pen... Thanks for the demonstration! :thumbup:

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I hope that is still the tripod! :hmm1: Hey, a tripod needs all three legs at equal lengths to stand balanced! :roflmho:

Excuse my fingernail on the pinky... :embarrassed_smile:

By the way, this is how I used to hold pens, and still do sometimes... with pencils when sketching :embarrassed_smile: ) This is my version, if not THE version of death grip, note the blood shot index finger tip:

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Edited by andybiotic, 04 August 2011 - 00:57.

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#7 backsideslappy

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:22

I am pleased to see that my grip is, and has been for some time, quite in line with the tripod. My sister, however, has a terrible case of death grip. I imagine that the Lamy Safari would be a particularly useful tool to get rid of death-gripping, as the countours would make it most difficult.

#8 watch_art

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:48

wow kev. You have HUGE hands. great photos and excellent demonstration of a good grip.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#9 Reene

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:15

Ahh, That sure feels better! Thanks for this valuable lesson troglokev!

#10 lady_findel

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:35

I have a problem where my index finger cannot decide whether it wants to be in the deathgrip or the perfect tripod. I think I need more practice to control it.
My pens: Montblanc 145 Chopin burgundy and gold F, Waterman Audace Summer Night F, Waterman Phileas Marbled Gray M, Rembrandt Visconti black F, Lamy 2000 EF, Wality eyedropper F, Sailor Realo M, Sailor 1911 Music nib, Namiki Falcon SF, Platinum Maestro #3776 F, Sailor Creatures of the Deep Seahorse B nib, Visconti Art Nouveau M, Stipula Il Giardino LE 1.1 stub

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#11 troglokev

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:46

Hey, a tripod needs all three legs at equal lengths to stand balanced! :roflmho:


Actually it only requires that the centre of mass is over the triangle formed by the support points. Your grip looks fine, your thumb is just a little longer than mine. The old grip, on the other hand...

Ouch.

Ahh, That sure feels better! Thanks for this valuable lesson troglokev!


This makes it worth mucking around taking the photos. Thanks, Reene!

Edited by troglokev, 03 August 2011 - 09:16.


#12 andybiotic

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:12

Hey, a tripod needs all three legs at equal lengths to stand balanced! :roflmho:


Actually it only requires that the centre of mass to be over the triangle formed by the support points. Your grip looks fine, your thumb is just a little longer than mine. The old grip, on the other hand...

Ouch.


Ah, you learn new things everyday :thumbup: ! Good to know that mine grip is fine also. I once took an three hour exam writing fast and non-stop using my death grip on a cheap bic ballpoint :crybaby: ! I guess you wounldn't notice it when you are in "the zone"! It felt like my arm was about to fall off afterwards though! Good thing it was my very last exam!
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#13 troglokev

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:47

I have a problem where my index finger cannot decide whether it wants to be in the deathgrip or the perfect tripod. I think I need more practice to control it.

Try turning your hand over, and letting go with your thumb from time to time, just to relax your hand a bit. (i.e. step 2)

#14 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 13:50

I like my forefinger at 12:30 (can put it at 12:00 also), and if posted my thumb a bit back up the barrel.
There is no pressure needed with the forefinger on top. You don't have to 'learn' no pressure, it's automatic.

Remember to grasp the pen like a featherless little baby bird, and you are fine.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I try not use the term Easy Full Flex, but fail...sigh.

 

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.


#15 Uncle Red

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 13:59

Thanks Kev, I'll be trying this at work today.

#16 Blizzard42

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 14:49

How does the death grip look like? How do I know I'm doing a death grip? With the grip you mentioned I find it too uncontrollable, especially with pens with skinny grip section, however it does not a bad job on a HS.
I also can't quite do the grip you do, my index finger slips ontop of the pen, while still staying in its natural position, not pointed like you recommended for flex, but else my index finger is not relaxed when trying to do like in your picture. I guess that may be the reason for the unstability.
I can't imagine being able to do flex with this grip, however, no problems with my usual grip.

#17 Mickey

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 14:52

The most important features of the tripod grip are (obviously) the three point finger connection, low pressure, and minimum flex in the first knuckle of the index finger and thumb. Natural variations in hand size and confirmation are going vary the appearance of individual instances. In other words, go for the concept, don't try to ape a particular photo.

I don't think the "finger over" variant is particularly desirable or useful. As for its utility with flex nibs, the better way to apply pressure is via wrist flex and hand rotation. That technique allows pressure to be applied not only straight downward, but through a ranges of angles, allowing the pen to trace curving shades with minimal nib chattering. This approach also doesn't imbalance the grip pressure as much as pressing down with the index finger. The grip as a whole transmits the pressure and the releasing of the pressure naturally returns the point to it's normal pressure on (and geometric relation to) the page.

Edited by Mickey, 03 August 2011 - 14:54.

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#18 flexiblefine

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 14:54

What pen is that you're using in the photos? The nib with the cut-outs at the shoulder intrigues me.
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#19 jpdyson

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 14:54

I have tried and tried and tried, but I just can't write legibly this way. I don't squeeze my pen, but I do use 4 fingers. Think of it as a tripod grip between thumb, middle, and ring with a dead-weight index on top. I have thick hands, and this minimizes the amount of "meat" under the pen, and is super comfy for me.

#20 777

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 15:18

<br />What pen is that you're using in the photos? The nib with the cut-outs at the shoulder intrigues me.<br />

<br /><br /><br />

If I'm not mistaken, he's using a namiki/pilot falcon. It's a semi-flexible nib - hence the cutouts...

I kinda want one myself... :)

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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