I'm a classically trained musician. I started bass to cover some gigs and have some fun, leaving the serious music to trumpet and french horn. So while I fully understood what it took to be a completely trained musician, for bass I let the needs of the gig dictate the level of my technique and preparation. Over the years I've moved more and more towards bass as my main instrument. So, to answer the question, I would have taken the learning of the elements of music (scales, modes, reading, etudes etc etc) more seriously. But I'm doing that now, and it's paying off very well.
Never confuse beauty with things that put your mind at ease. -Charles E. Ives