I’ve been playing a lot of guitar over the last two days, (so much that my fingers hurt – that hasn’t happened in years) and I keep noticing one thing – as much as I’d like to a jazz player, and as much as I can play along with jazz like it’s a natural thing, my fingers just want to play the blues. I pick up the guitar, and the fingers do their own thing. It’s not cognitive-intentional act, it’s just you pick it up and do it. Your fingers do it. And my fingers do it this way. Sure it’s learned, sure I have influences, but I don’t have a lot. Sure my favorite player is Stevie Ray, but I don’t listen to him often. I don’t think it’s very useful to talk about specific influences, actually, because insofar as we have them they are more like lenses through which we grasp the entire music corpus that we expose ourselves to.
The best trick I’ve found to change your style is to get a new instrument, but since the demise of my mandolin (it’s likely repairable), I’ve been back on the guitar. I can’t help but feel my style has improved, although it would be wrong to say I’ve adopted anything I learned on the mandolin for the guitar – when I try to do that it fails miserably (the songs simply don’t work).