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They call 'em tappets

Use a long screwdriver as an improvised stethoscope. Put one end on the valve cover and the other at your ear. You should be able to hear any lifter noise. Lifter noise usually isn't worth bothering with if it doesn't affect performance. You can sometimes identify the offending lifter by removing the valve cover, run the engine and check to see if oil is coming from each pushrod. No oil would indicate which lifter needs replacement. (Use something to contain any oil that might spill) It is possible to remove the rocker arm and pushrod to replace the lifters. First you may want to try an additive like Wynn's Supreme Plus Oil Change Kit, first to flush the engine before changing the oil, and afterwards to improve oil viscosity.
As you can see in the graphic, the oil in the engine passes through the lifters and up the pushrods to oil the upper end of the motor. If the lifter is not getting enough pressure it will make a tapping noise. Lifters/cam followers are often called 'tappets.'
 
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