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Alternative Grip?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 mberman14

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 00:58

In the book Improve Your Handwriting (Teach Yourself) by Rosemary Sassoon, she recommends this grip as an alternative that alleviates cramp and is used by many. Do any of you use it? Have you tried it?


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#2 HDoug

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:06

Wow, I just tried it and I can write just fine using it! Mine more resembles the second one, and is very much like my regular "schoolbook" tripod grip with the pen sticking out from a different place. I wonder why I havenʻt seen this before.

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#3 dickydotcom

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:31

In my teens I used the grip shown on the right.
I think I was just trying to be different and after a few years I reverted to the more usual grip. (where it has remained for the last 50 years)
I don't suffer from any cramping unless I'm holding a heavy metal pen that is posted and I pause for thought.
Then I get the odd twinge and put the pen down if I have to continue the thought process.

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#4 Leigh R

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:35

Wow, I never thought to see my odd penhold in a diagram!

#5 AD356

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 18:09

Just try them I love the one on the right. You still use the thumb for most of the control so it feels like the normal grip; but it works best when I completely relaxed my hand, I feel like I could write like that all day and not get a cramp or even get tired! Thanks for sharing.
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#6 FPFan

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 18:57

Both of my grandkids use this grip and I try desperately to convince them not to . . . Then someone comes along and starts to promote it? Now what? My grade school teachers will be turning in their graves and crying foul! For myself, it is just beyond weird.
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#7 TSherbs

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 19:40

I first saw this grip held by Daniel Hoffman (poet/author/professor) at college with a fountain pen in our classroom. I tried it for a while with ballpoints. I have not tried it with a fountain pen, but maybe today....

#8 mberman14

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 19:49

For me, while I do find it comfortable, it seems harder to control the amount of pressure on a very flexy pen. Maybe just needs practice.

Also, it alters the angle of pen to paper, which also affects flexing.

#9 goyo

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:49

The image on the right is how I've held my pens for the last four years or so. I got the idea from Alexander Nesbitt's book "History and Technique of Lettering", where he says it was the normal way to hold a pen until the early 1800's.

I switched because of cramping -- I write a lot -- and it worked. It also seems to give me a bit more control.

Another nice thing about this grip is that pen size no longer matters. I can write with a Parker 75 or a Pelikan M800 and it makes no difference at all.

#10 frenchieinpa

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:37

My grip is like the one in the right diagram, but more relaxed, with the index finger bent the other way (down) at the first joint. One of my high school students uses this grip and shared it with me when I mentioned that writing is painful for me. She has used this grip since first grade because she finds it more comfortable. And so do I! It amazes me that my handwriting looks the same. :thumbup:
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#11 suexilin

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:07

I have a very non traditional grip, and in school teachers constantly tried to make me change. I had gotten used to switch grips very quickly - anytime a teacher approached me I will move my fingers in the approved position, but the moment they looked away I will hold it again the way I am used to.

Few weeks ago I discovered that holding a lamy is easy in the "approved,correct" way, but i still hold all my other writing utensils in my way.

Anyone else like me? :embarrassed_smile:

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#12 Harlequin

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:33

I just tried writing with both of the grips in that pic in the OP. I don't know, I mean, I could still write (albeit slower), but to me it just felt like I had less control than with (what I guess qualifies as) the standard grip.

#13 goyo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:26

Also, it alters the angle of pen to paper, which also affects flexing.


This is my experience too. My normal hand is italic, and the angle affects that hand also. I need to have the nib for my M800 reground (finer and crisp italic rather than cursive) and I'm thinking I may switch to an oblique italic to compensate.

My grip is like the one in the right diagram, but more relaxed, with the index finger bent the other way (down) at the first joint.


Now that you mention it, my grip is also as you describe rather than exactly like the picture. Except for the thick/thin being placed a bit differently with a flex or italic nib, my hand is also just the same. With one of the XF red ink pens I use for editing, it's exactly the same.

#14 sac

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 17:03

Wow, my hand started to cramp a bit, so I tried the grip on the right. The pain was gone instantly! I wouldn't say there's no learning curve, but I started perhaps 90% of the way there and five minutes of practice got me to 95%. It's really quite easy. Now I'm going to get my own copy of that book.

#15 Mercian

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 00:33

Few weeks ago I discovered that holding a lamy is easy in the "approved,correct" way, but i still hold all my other writing utensils in my way.

Anyone else like me? :embarrassed_smile:

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THANK YOU for posting this! :wub:

It is anatomically impossible for me to hold a pen in the 'official' manner advised by my old teachers and e.g. all the various 'penmanship' resources on the IAMPETH website :mad::bonk:

I have to hold my hand & wrist as you are holding yours in this picture (even with my Lamy Vista)!
The only difference is that I hold the pen so that it is 'forward' of my middle finger, with its underside resting against the final knuckle of that finger.

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#16 ndw76

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:08

I have a very non traditional grip, and in school teachers constantly tried to make me change. I had gotten used to switch grips very quickly - anytime a teacher approached me I will move my fingers in the approved position, but the moment they looked away I will hold it again the way I am used to.

Few weeks ago I discovered that holding a lamy is easy in the "approved,correct" way, but i still hold all my other writing utensils in my way.

Anyone else like me? :embarrassed_smile:

Posted Image


The majority of my students hold their pens this way. In any class I might have one student who can hold a pen the normal way. And as a teacher it drives me crazy.

But the thing that annoys me even more is that some of them have nicer writing than me.
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#17 kirkmc

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 22:25

I've just been reading this book, and tried that way of holding a pen. My writing is pretty bad that way, but it's a lot more relaxed. I'm going to spend some time trying to use that grip.

 

Interesting, it reminds me of table tennis. Back in the late 70s when I was in college, I learned to play table tennis from some Chinese guys, who have a funny way of holding the racket. I can't play any other way. (I don't play regularly, but for a long time, I had a ping pong table in my garage, until my son moved out of the house.) If you're curious, you can see photos here:

 

http://tabletennis.a...adchineseph.htm

 

They call it the "penhold grip."


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#18 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 03:55

​I've read the book and I've tried the pen hold.  It works fine and is relaxing with a biro.  The grip is intended to be used for writing with a biro or pencil which has a more vertical alignment.  I've tried it with a fountain pen and it didn't feel right.



#19 kirkmc

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 10:06

​I've read the book and I've tried the pen hold.  It works fine and is relaxing with a biro.  The grip is intended to be used for writing with a biro or pencil which has a more vertical alignment.  I've tried it with a fountain pen and it didn't feel right.

 

 

Well, I'm just trying this out. Of course it doesn't feel "right." At least it wont at the beginning. I was using it last night with a very heavy Montblanc ballpoint, and it feels quite relaxing. I think one needs to try it for a while and see how it works out. 


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#20 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 10:19

 

 

Well, I'm just trying this out. Of course it doesn't feel "right." At least it wont at the beginning. I was using it last night with a very heavy Montblanc ballpoint, and it feels quite relaxing. I think one needs to try it for a while and see how it works out. 

 

 

​I've read the book and I've tried the pen hold.  It works fine and is relaxing with a biro.  The grip is intended to be used for writing with a biro or pencil which has a more vertical alignment.  I've tried it with a fountain pen and it didn't feel right.

 

Agreed, having used it for some time I found that it works well with a Biro.  It is not as useful, for me at least with a fountain pen.

 

As I recall, Sassoon explained in her book that the grip was invented by a Belgian hand surgeon specifically to alleviate hand pain caused by the more upright grip one uses with Biros (ballpoint pens).








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