Are you learning tunes or concepts? You need a balance of both. Just learning tunes leads one into a cul-de-sac. There is a reason to practice scales, chords, arpeggios, and studies if you are a pianist. There is a reason to practice your rudiments if you are a drummer.
Best advice I got on this topic was, “the people you admire, really know what they are doing”. Check out Jo Jo Mayer, or Elton John, etc. These musicians are highly trained individuals. They are not fakers. Read any drum magazine. Behind the tattoos and hair are skilled tradesmen and women.
Second best advice I got is, “you got to put in time, if you want to leave the land of make believe”.
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 percussionist and drum teacher.