Not every bar in an 8- or 16-bar progression needs a different chord; it’s about balancing variety (things that are different) with unity (things that repeat).
A great tool for adding a different color in a chord progression is to include one or more half-diminished seventh chords (sometimes just called half-diminished chords).
It is entirely possible to have a long, successful guitar career without much musical theory knowledge. But, theory is great to know for a variety of guitar-related tasks and activities, such as songwriting, teaching, and accompanimental playing.
The most common and most useful of these chords is the seventh, which you can use pretty much anywhere just to add a slightly different color to a chord, or in some types of progression to give the sequence of chords some extra thrust, because the added seventh is a mild dissonance, or clash, that makes the chord sound like it wants to move somewhere.
Musical modes constitute a form of scale complete with their own distinctive melodic traits. The seven modes have their roots in some of western music’s oldest forms.
Another great way to create more interesting chord progressions is to use a pedal note or pedal point. A pedal note is a static bass note that sticks around for a few measures while the chords change over the top.