The music that I really dig is influenced by jazz, funk, prog-rock, classical, mediteranian-folk, Latin, Greek... a fusion of styles.
Improvisation is the most satisfying thing to do for me musically, once the musical framework is in place.
As a guitarist I've been influenced mostly by Mike Stern (Miles Davis Era), Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, Greek Bouzouki music,
Afro-Cuban rythyms, North African music, Indian music, my friend Foko's guitar playing from long ago now. I'd say my overall favorite guitarist in any genre has to be the great Brit John McLaughlin. I can't help but feel he is the one for my when it comes to creativity, technique, range, and that travelling & searching soul on guitar...
For the most part I'm self taught on the guitar and bass. Studying violin for several years as a kid helped develop my ears. I seem to rely on my ears mainly. Studied privately for two years with a great Cambridge based Jazz Guitarist Mike DiBari. I learned some valuable things from him. Took a couple of lessons from a Berklee guitar instructor Steve Kirby and learned some valuable stuff. There are many good books out there to learn from as well. Don Mock of GIT has a few which are quite good, Rick Peckham's Quartal Harmony book/dvd, Mick Goodrick, Bruce Saunder's books also, amongst others. It's a lifelong pursuit, which i have not even sratched the surface of.