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march to (the beat of) a different drummer

To behave or do things in a manner that does not conform to the standard, prevalent, or popular societal norm. My brother eschewed the idea of a full-time career, taking all kinds of different oddball jobs. But then he's always been happy marching to the beat of a different drummer. Look, I respect the fact that you like to march to a different drummer, but do you have to do everything in such contrarian ways?
See also: beat, different, drummer, march, to

march to a different beat

To do something, act, or behave in a manner that does not conform to the standard, prevalent, or popular societal norm. My brother's eschewed the idea of a full-time career and has had every oddball job you could think of, but then he's always been happy marching to a different beat. Look, I respect the fact that you like to march to a different beat, but do you have to make a point of doing everything in a contrarian way?
See also: beat, different, march, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

march to (the beat of) a different drummer

Fig. to believe in a different set of principles. John is marching to a different drummer, and he doesn't associate with us anymore. Since Sally started marching to the beat of a different drummer, she has had a lot of great new ideas.
See also: different, drummer, march, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

march to a different beat

Also, march to a different drummer. Act independently, differ in conduct or ideas from most others, as in Joe wanted to be married on a mountain top-he always marches to a different beat, or Sarah has her own ideas for the campaign; she marches to a different drummer. This idiom, alluding to being out of step in a parade, is a version of Henry David Thoreau's statement in Walden (1854): "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." It came into wide use in the mid-1900s.
See also: beat, different, march, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

march to a different tune

BRITISH or

march to a different drummer

mainly AMERICAN
If someone marches to a different tune, they behave differently from most people or have different beliefs about what is morally right. Throughout his whole career, Clough marched to a different tune. As a player, Lindner has always marched to a different drummer. Note: You can also say that someone marches to the beat of a different drummer. He is a leader who marches to the beat of quite a different drummer.
See also: different, march, to, tune
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

march to (the beat of) a different tune (or drum or drummer)

consciously adopt a different approach or attitude to the majority of people; be unconventional. informal
The version with drummer comes ultimately from Henry David Thoreau's Walden ( 1854 ): ‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer’.
1997 New Scientist In formulating his ideas about the composition of the fundamental building blocks of matter…Sternglass has marched to the beat of an entirely different drum.
See also: different, march, to, tune
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

march to (the beat of) a different ˈdrummer/ˈdrum

(also march to a different ˈtune less frequent) behave in a different way from other people; have different attitudes or ideas: She was a gifted and original artist who marched to a different drummer.
See also: different, drum, drummer, march, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

march to (the beat of) a different drummer, to

To follow principles quite different from those of most others. This term, which became current in the mid-twentieth century, actually has its source in the last chapter of Thoreau’s Walden (1854): “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” Thoreau, champion of individualism, was hailed by the antiestablishmentarians of the 1960s in particular, who picked up a version of his phrase. Quoting a business executive, Connie Bruck wrote in a 1990 New Yorker article, “We saw ourselves . . . as the tough guys, very smart, who were marching to our own drummer.”
See also: beat, different, march, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
A report into the revamp states: "The key aim of this project is to improve the amenity value and function of the Drummers Corner space by means of improving 'The Drum' structure, seating, lighting and landscaping in the space.
A 60 year old drummer Sain Jhalla said, "I am doing it for the last several years as it gives me some additional money for celebrating Eid.
"He was never so disappointed in his life to find out that a dozen of his favorite drummers were me."
McCaroll was Oasis drummer from 1991-95 and played on their debut album Definitely Maybe, as well as their first Number One single Some Might Say.
Master drummers are highly respected in Nigeria, because they actually communicate the overall message of the ensemble to the listener.
The project would begin with picking the greatest drummers to establish and pioneer a new medium called "Rhythmic Expressionism." Rhythmic Expressionism uses performance to create the artwork.
8 at Mall of Asia Arena, officials are reducing the number again to two snare drummers and one bass drummer.
Dance to pulsating beats that brings rich Ghanaian drumming heritage to the capital with Emirates Park Zoo and Resort and its team of African drummers.
Frank said: "We stopped for like a year purely because we were in-between drummers. We had good friends helping us out in the studio while we were recording Far Too Long and on the sidelines we were looking for a drummer.
As well as selling drums and equipment, the store will host manufacturer's events, seminars, shows, and clinics with 'some of the world's greatest drummers.'.
"Instruments of Battle: The Fighting Drummers and Buglers of the British Army from the Late 17th Century to the Present Day" examines in detail the development and role of the British Army's fighting drummers and buglers, from the time of the foundation of the army up to the present day.
Many young drummers have a basic idea of the stylistic grooves
Electronic drums resound in most new songs on the radio, yet the existing technology for recreating those sounds in live settings is clunky, and not intuitive for traditionally trained drummers. But new ideas happen wherever there is an unfilled need, and the music world is no exception.
Of the five drummers who have been in Pearl Jam, founding drummer Dave Krusen, who was with them for a year, and current drummer Matt Cameron, who has been with the band since 1998, are on the list of nominees.
Women Drummers: A History from Rock and Jazz to Blues and Country.