THIS ISN'T MUSIC THEORY; IT'S ALL-OUT REBELLION.
Wellllllll............. Not really................ Okay, YES!
Anyway, I have been experimenting a lot with different chord patterns and not being restricted to only chords within the key of the tune; these two variations in particular are ones that I've been using for quite a few of my more recent compositions...
If you are getting tired using chord movements going from 1 to 3 or 6, you could try some of this awesomeness...
Basically, you will still be moving to 3 or 6, but you would use FLAT 3, or FLAT 6. And then hopefully move on to other chords in the new key. An example in the key of D:
D --- | F (b3) --- | C --- | A --- |
D --- | Bb (b6) --- | F --- | C --- |
You are essentially jumping drastically to a different key and then slowly modulating back to the tonic by getting to the 5 (or flat 7) chord in some way (note the spaghetti-western C-A sequence in example 1). You could do a circle-of-fourths-or-fifths kind of thing.
I haven't integrated this into a song yet, but it also sounds cool in a minor version as well: try starting Dm, and going to the MINOR 3 or MINOR 6. This kind of can end up sounding like an interlude from Phantom of Opera, which is ultimately not a bad thing.
It's hard to use these ideas as SUBSTITUTIONS (not recommended if you want your violin player to like you), but they're great composing or chording tools, OR, if you need some ideas for tension in an arrangement...