My goal was to get the player in a rhythmic cycle, in an almost poetic state. This version did not live up to those aesthetics.
Noticing that meter in poetry could be missed if the reader was reciting the lines as fast as possible or with no vocal inflection, I then tried adding a meter line. http://lskcfk7.linuxclass.marist.edu/rhythm/meter/
This failed miserably. The only difference from the first version is that a vertical line is drawn and moved at a constant rate behind the arrows, guiding the player. There are no consequences to mistiming. As I played it and gave it to friends to try, any semblance of a pattern dissolved, and the player simply watched the line and hit the keys as they progressed. This is now even further from the poetry goal.
Combos in combat situations, whether they be fighting combos or WoW skill rotations, are mostly muscle memory. Even other rhythm games like Guitar Hero or DDR have quite a bit of memorization required in order to master a song.
Perhaps my training sessions are too short. Perhaps I need auditory cues.