I was shown 3 chords by a friend and played them straight of the bat. I strumed to George Harrison's My sweet lord in half an hour ( In a fashion).But soon came the dreaded bar chord ( Oh B*****ks). I went through the whole of the Beatles complete song book for months dodging the satanic shape.!!! Moving forward I played mainly rythm in bands and the best thing i did was beat that obsdacle. Probably used that shape more than any other.!!!
Soon after acquiring my Gibby SG, a buddy who was much more proficient and played in his own band showed me a descending/ascending pentatonic riff the length of the fretboard. Although I knew nothing about pentatonics at the time, I practiced the riff ad infinitum until I could use it with aplomb. My buddy also showed me the "Hendrix chord," the familiar 7♯9 chord shape that was popular in blues-based rock.
My buddy was into Neil Young at the time (1976) and encouraged me to expand my musical tastes further by collecting LPs. This occurred for a time until CDs became the preferred platform, and I then collected CDs and would listen to them. I would practice to LPs or CDs until my ear had appreciably understood what I was listening to.
I was an early fan of The Who & Led Zeppelin as both made it to radio airplay. I recall hearing both Pinball Wizard and The Immigrant Song in my formative years, and both had a profound effect on how I'd view music later in life. Brit Rock seemed to be what I gravitated to, until rock evolved in the U.S.
Although the Beatles were popular, there was less radio airplay than one might imagine locally. Therefore, my inclinations were not so much towards the Beatles, but other Brit Rock bands of the day.
In time, my CD collection allowed me to practice a variety of musical styles and genres. Although my practice habits were not the most efficient nor desirable, they allowed me to play by ear what I thought was acceptable, though seldom note-for-note. And perhaps that allowed me to be content with my guitar practice, since I realized that my practice would never be of pro guitarist quality, but only became my signature personal style. Doing so prevented me from comparing myself with others and thereby avoiding being envious of better players. While a certain style might be something to aspire to, it was never pursued nor copied to the same degree the original guitarist had practiced.
While many of my guitar heroes were whom my signature style was comprised of, I can't accurately say whom all of my musical influences are. They are numerous and diverse, some of the fathers and grandfathers of blues rock, some more contemporary who have become popular in recent decades.
Has my playing improved? No, if anything my chops are not what they once were when I played live each week at our local blues jam. Once the music scene improves and open-mics occur more locally, my guitar practice will likely be relegated to home study and recording, with less emphasis on live performance until my chops are up to snuff again.