I'm back from a week in New Orleans studying and being coached in the great music of New Orleans, early jazz pre 1930 to be exact.
I concur with the instructors: the key to mastering this music is spend 80% to 90% of your practice time listening. Forget the books, go to YouTube and start copying. Second, find some musicians better than you to play with and start playing.
Keep at it until you get it.
Now the other 10% to 20% of your time should be spent on the technique of mastering your instrument: ear training, theory, scales, chords, arpeggios, sight-reading, written repertoire and history.
And, keep at it until you succeed.
Oh, and get in front of master musicians occassionally to keep the fires of inspiration burning and lighting the way.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted student and teacher of the drums.