I don't know anything about Zakk Wylde except that I used to put his strings on my Jackson before I switched to Elixir baritones. But I found that comment weirdly inspirational.
In fact, I've been practicing every day for nearly a year now since I heard him say that. It runs through my mind every time I start to doubt if the practicing is doing me any good. When I'm setting the metronome slower instead of faster. Every time I start to think that I should've spent that hour doing something with tangible results it passes through my mind.
"Even a monkey can learn to play fast."
It's true. People dumber than I can whiz up and down a phrygian scale and follow it with a sweeping arpeggio flourish across all six strings. In the blink of a friggin eye.
Articulated speed is a learned skill. Like typing. It's not something you're born with, despite what Yngwie would lead you to believe. It's just a matter of coordinating the right and left hands in unison.
"Even a monkey can play fast."
I already know the other stuff; phrasing, feel, evocative note choices. I can do that. It's playing fast that is the most difficult and the most impressive. I respect BB King but I'd like him more if he threw in a shredding lick once a year.
Still, I find it chuckle-worthy that my source of inspiration is an insult. If I ever put out an instructional DVD, that's what I'm gonna call it.