Yeah, how do I use the music i am influenced by and listen to, to help me write songs and riffs? I want to try and find a style of guitar playing that is right for me and I would like some advice and feedback on the issue, thanks alot!
*Check out my Last.fm and myspace pages for musical tastes*
You'll tend to find riffs you like will follow similar modes and scales. For instance Iron Maiden utilise the harmonic minor scale for a lot of their riffs. I'd suggest looking at which scale the bands/riffs you're influenced by are in and studying them. When you're familiar with the scale you should be able improvise your own riffs around it without just copying other people.
Dave Mustain has wrote some of the most amazing solos...
That he can't actually play!
I used to actually wonder that myslef. I would read interviews with guitarists and whoever was interviewing them would say something along the lines of "I can hear a lot of Clapton in your playing." And I had no idea how they would pick that out, but just as Cecil Gonzales said it's all based off of different scales and modes they write with, and of course different techniques they use. A lot of songs I write are influenced by Zakk Wylde's playing, and originally people would hear it and say "Oh that's a Black Label song." After a few more years of playing you can hear the influence but it doesn't sound like it's ripped off from him.
Signatures are overrated.