I don't think I ever got bit by that bug of wanting to be or sound like anyone else. I don't think my mind works that way. Surely, I did pick up things here and there as I was self-taught early on, and I did all my learning by playing along to 45s and later LPs as my budget grew. I grew up in a small rural community, and there just wasn't opportunity to play much with others. My first gigs were with a country band playing music I mostly hadn't ever heard before. I did take formal lessons in HS, but it was sporadic. It wasn't until college that I grew consistent with lessons. Being sight impaired means I was pretty much limited to copying just what I could glean by ear. Now days, there are so many instructional materials out that are visual, it is much easier to see and hear how things are done.I found that I was chasing someone else's sound...once i realized that I started asking myself how I want to sound...and adjusted accordingly.
I'm pretty sure I could find someone else that I sound like in playing, tuning, instrument selection, etc...but then it would be more accidental instead of intentional...and that kind of duplication I can live with as long as I'm not too acutely aware of it.
I liken it to reaching a point where what you have to say is not parroting what a parent says...kind of a 'musical growing up'.
It is possible to parrot others too much while is also possible to chase uniqueness just for its own sake...the middle ground seems to have treated me well.
Anyway, I think it is inevitable that we soak up what we listen to, and some of that will show up in our own playing. Often, it is just a hue--a shading or something ephemeral. It's that way with writing, and that is where I first noticed this phenomenon. My writing tends to sound like whatever I am reading at the time. Eventually, you get to the point where you can cop that feel on demand.
Someone made a joke here about sounding like a certain guitarist. I am sure it is in jest, but it is also quite probably true. I spend most of my time listening to classical music, and there are times when I have been sure Mozart was there in some form. I've wondered if I can somehow turn the kit into a piano and pull off some part of a piano concerto. At least the piano is in the percussion family, so maybe there is hope. And no, I am not "trippin back to places Ive been too," but I have wondered the same thing about wind chimes and getting that random thing on the kit.
Too many cups of coffee. I reserve the right to ....