I could not agree more, and I think it's something that a lot of guitarists (myself definitely included) are guilty of, where we look at our playing and think: "Okay, who should be my inspiration? Alright, Frank Gambale, which means I have to stop considering alternate picking or legato" and stuff like that. A bit on the nose, but you get my drift, the way we sometimes get too focused on how we play, and not enough on what we play.Spot on. I don’t know of anyone who makes some conscious choice up-front: “Hey I will be a Palm the Pick Person!!” vs. “Why, I believe Hybrid is the Long Game I should commit to!!”
Well, except for those Thoughtful Bastards(tm) who somehow realized it makes sense to commit to Thumbpick + Fingers, and muscle through what it takes to get competent. Frickin’ Tommy E, Johnny Marr - so, so versatile, but I could *never* have committed to that long game.
So nowadays, I tend to look at how I play when I'm just going for it, and how I solve various issues in the heat of the moment. Pick direction, sliding into notes, using open strings, etc.