3. Clap your hands, shake a shaker, stomp your feet, move your butt! Get intimately familiar with the rhythm of the music you're playing. Rhythm is PARAMOUNT. Even melody is meaningless without rhythm.Don't believe it? Try this: Clap "Happy Birthday" for someone - no words, no melody, just clap "Hap-py Birth-day to you", and see if they can guess the song. Yeah.
So, become an amatuer percussionist. Get into the rhythm of what you're playing, try different tempos, rhythms (Rhumba, Cha-cha, Swing).
Most important, USE A METRONOME IN THE WOODSHED, HABITUALLY. Having a crazy good sense of time will not only make you a better player, it will get you invited to play more often.