I posted about a guitar I was targeting last month, the Takamine EG361SC; I have since selected that guitar's sibling, the EG461SC. The 461 is made from the same materials but has quite a different (and even more attractive) shape, and produces a similar and more balanced sound.
I began to learn to play on a friend's Epiphone (thanks Jeff), and while his guitar had a decent sound, it helped me to appreciate the ease of playing a better guitar. The strings on the Epiphone were quite difficult to fret, and the difference between his guitar and my new Takamine is a welcome change.
I have been "playing" now for about two months, and I have made great strides! I have progressed far beyond what I thought possible in this time period; that being said, however, I still cannot play the silly thing well enough to play in front of an audience. I still take much too long to change between chords. But I am making progress; if it used to take me five seconds to change between chords, maybe it takes me two or three now. Hopefully I will be able to contribute with this guitar in worship before too long.
Speaking of contributing in worship, it looks like I might get to participate with a different instrument; a bass guitar. Our church recently purchased a Yamaha RBX170 electric bass because our bass player is joining the military. I have practiced a little with the new bass, and I am able to apply the very little I know about the guitar to the bass and contribute in a significant way! I am really excited to be able to play in the band! Here's a pic of the RBX170: