Are there vocal techniques to improve voice quality through regular practice. Also how much time should be given to vocal techniques.
You simply need to start singing. You can sing. Realize this. What makes you different from those that can sing is that they do it and you look for books and ways to magically give you the ability. (don't take this the wrong way). Simply start singing and use your ears. You will suck at first, but you will get better.
It is no different than any other training. If you want to be good at something YOU MUST DO IT! Don't worry about not knowing what to do, you will learn. First sing music! Second sing music! Third sing music! Doing this will get you to sing. Fourth, sing the way you except yourself to sing. If you are singing along to rap songs, don't expect that to help you sing country. You are training yourself, there really are no short cuts... most of it's in your head, don't play head games and you'll get where you want.
e.g., most people don't like to hear their weak frail voice sing. They hear real "singers" and it creates a inferiority complex(subconsciously). Maybe they are told they can't sing, etc.
What this does is 1. Create the need to look for "training". 2. prevents one from really letting themselves sing. Singing is about expressing emotion... and when you are self-conscious that is what you express and people don't like that(most people are self-conscious so they want to hear someone express that).
If you don't really have a clue, then, again, sing songs. You are learning from the "masters"... so if you can sing what they do, which is just imitation, then you are already a singer. If you can't, then that is all the material you need. e.g., no reason to run scales, chords, arpeggios... just sing songs!
Once you get that down, you will be better equipped to understand what you need to do. Will you really need to study all those arpeggio exercises? Maybe, maybe not... But if you can't sing in pitch in key then it is pointless... if you can't sing with emotion then it is pointless... If you've already sung songs then chances are you've already practiced everything that any book could teach you.
Simply do it! (Every day!)
P.s., I'm not saying that such lessons are a complete waste of time... but you'll learn far more than you can from lessons by actually doing the deed.
There is a book and CD, I think its called the Roger Love vocal method. I bought it from Barnes and Noble about 8 years ago, i still use the vocal exercise to this day. It works very well in stretching the vocal cords. I've used it twice a day while on tour and at least once before singing in the studio.