Idiom:  march to the beat of one's own drum

idiom march to the beat of your own drum


Idiom:  march to the beat of one's own drum 

  • to be unique by doing things in your own way


1)  This idiom suggests that when someone marches to their own beat, they do things the way they want to without being influenced by what other people think, say or do.

2)  It suggests the person is independent and comfortable with being different from others.

3)  It's also common to use this idiom in the following forms: 

  • march to one's own drum
  • march to your own beat

4)  What's a beat?

A beat is like a regular tapping sound that you can feel or hear in music. It's often made by hitting a drum. The beat is like the basic rhythm that other instruments and melodies follow.

When a drummer plays a beat on a drum, they make a repeating pattern of taps that help keep the music in time. You can make different rhythms by changing how you tap and this is called a "drumbeat."

A marching band is a group of musicians who walk in a steady, regular rhythm and in step with others. They walk in the rhythm of the band's drums.

Example sentences

— We raised each of our children to be independent, have opinions and march to the beat of their own drums

— It's very American to march to the beat of your own drum, but life can be very different for people in cultures where community and family are paramount.

— My brother has always been one to march to the beat of his own drum, and he doesn't care what other people think about his fashion choices.

— Here are some slogans we could use in the anti-bullying rally:  "Be unique, march to your own beat!" "Drum to your own beat and the world will follow."

— Despite being ridiculed for his unconventional ideas, the scientist continued to march to the beat of his own drum and eventually made groundbreaking discoveries.

— The artist's unique style shows that she marches to her own beat and isn't afraid to take risks in her work.

— Despite being pressured to follow the latest trends, Jane marched to the beat of her own drum and chose to dress in a way that made her feel comfortable and confident.

— The CEO's leadership style shows that he marches to the beat of his own drum and isn't afraid to take unconventional approaches to solve problems.

— My youngest daughter marches to the beat of her own drum and brings sushi or soba noodles to school for lunch.

— Even though her friends went to the mall today, Sarah marched to the beat of her own drum and went hiking instead.

Comprehension check

Let's ensure that you understand the meaning of this idiom because there are some nuances in the meaning.

Examine the sentences below :

  1. I used to march to the beat of my own drum, but then I realized I was offbeat and everyone was staring at me.
  2. "I may not be the most coordinated person, but when I march to my own drum, it's like a party on the parade route!"
  3. I tried to march to the beat of my own drum, but my drum was out of tune and everyone complained.
  4. "People say I'm weird for marching to the beat of my own drum, but at least I have my own marching band."

As noted above, the idiom "march to your own drum" implies a person is not swayed by societal or peer pressures. Instead, they follow their own values, beliefs, and instincts, regardless of what others may think or do.

The two examples above that are in bold text suggest that the person is comfortable with their individuality and does not feel the need to conform to the expectations of others.

Examples 1 and 3 suggest that they feel uncomfortable with the reactions and opinions of others and suggest they probably stopped marching to the beat of their own drums.


  • march to the beat of a different drummer
  • dance to your own beat
  • one's on sweet way

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