Another takeaway from the Benjamin Zander TED talk is how writing chord progressions is like playing Killer Instinct.
Killer Instinct is a fighting game that took a different path than using Mortal Kombat’s fatalities. KI had fatalities, but it was really known for its combo system. Players could chain together multiple moves to come up with long combos, and the opposing player could actually break the combo. It was pretty well thought out and something new that the next generation of fighting games picked up.
Next time you’re writing a chord progression see if you can come up with an Ultimate Combo. Instead of 4 bars maybe you can extend your idea to 8 bars by adding chords you wouldn’t normally think of using. See how many hits it could take you to go from the tonic, to the dominant, and back again, without repeating a chord you already used.
By the way, this game is dying for a remake.